Coroner can’t determine sex of buried Carlisle baby; hearing delayed

Coroner can’t determine sex of buried Carlisle baby; hearing delayed

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Brooke Skylar Richardson, right, and her attorney Charles M. Rittgers appear before Judge Rupert E. Ruppert last Friday during her arraignment hearing in Franklin Municipal Court. Richardson, 18, is charged with reckless homicide for the May death of her baby after its remains were found in the backyard of her home. If convicted of the third-degree felony, she faces one to five years in prison. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Warren County’s coroner said investigators have not been able to determine the sex of the baby found buried in the backyard of a Carlisle house.

The baby’s mother, 18-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson, a cheerleader who graduated this year from Carlisle High School, faces one count of reckless homicide.

Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove said Wednesday that his office was not able to determine the sex of the infant from the remains, which are two months old. The criminal complaint against Richards alleges she caused the infant’s death on or about May 7.

“We may eventually do DNA testing, but we could not determine that (the sex) from the remains,” Uptegrove said.

The sex of the baby has not been released by deputies or the prosecutor.

The defense attorney for Richardson sought and received a delay in a court hearing scheduled for next week.

Richardson, of Eagle Ridge Drive, was scheduled to appear in Franklin Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing. Attorney Charlie M. Rittgers requested a continuance Tuesday afternoon, and it was granted by Judge Rupert Ruppert on Tuesday night.

The court document obtained by this news outlet does not give a reason for the request by the defense. Rittgers did, however, give a brief statement via email on Wednesday.

“We agreed to a continuance because we think it is in the best interest of Skylar,” Rittgers said.

The teen is free on $15,000 bond. If convicted of the third-degree felony, Richardson could face one to five years in prison.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecutor David Fornshell have released few facts about the case that began July 14 with a call from a doctor’s office to Carlisle police about a possible stillborn baby. The remains were unearthed, and Richardson was charged days later with reckless homicide.

Fornshell has made it clear that the evidence indicates the baby was born alive, posting on a Facebook a message to explain that was the reason Richardson could be charged with reckless homicide.

Investigators have conducted three separate searches in a 10-day period this month, working initially in the backyard to find the infant’s remains July 14, returning to dig for more evidence and coming back Monday evening to look inside the house.

Fornshell said Tuesday that the three searches are part of the ongoing investigation involving the mother and anyone else involved in the baby’s death.

“This is an ongoing investigation. We are investigating what happened and who may have been involved,” Fornshell said, adding if that investigation led other others involved, they would be charged.

Sheriff’s and prosecutors office officials also have said they requested a judge seal search warrants pertaining to the case in order to avoid tipping off what they were looking for.

Fornshell and investigators have declined to comment on the sex of the baby, how the baby died and the identity of the baby’s father.

“We have not made any statements about how the baby died or was disposed of,” Fornshell said.

Richardson was a cheerleader and had graduated from Carlisle High School this past spring, according to Carlisle School Superintendent Larry Hook. He declined to comment on Richardson, citing privacy laws.

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