An Ohio woman has been arrested and charged with reckless homicide after her baby's remains were found buried in her backyard.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is reportedly pleading not guilty. She appeared in a Warren County courtroom for an arraignment on July 21. Judge Rupert Ruppert set her bond at $15,000 and marked Aug. 1 as the date of Richardson's preliminary hearing.
That evening, Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell explained the charge of reckless homicide in a Facebook post.
"In response to various media and public inquiries regarding the Brooke "Skyler" Richardson case, the filing yesterday of a preliminary charge of reckless homicide is based upon evidence that the infant whose remains were discovered at the defendant's residence in Carlisle one week ago today was born alive and was not a stillborn baby," he wrote, according to WKRC.
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Fornshell added: "Law enforcement is continuing to treat this as an active and ongoing investigation."
The baby's remains were discovered by authorities on July 14 after they received a tip from a local doctor's office, Dayton Daily News reports.
"We just got the general idea that it was going to be in the backyard near the tree line of the property behind us and that's where we found what we found," Warren County Sheriff's Office Lt. John Faine told WKRC.
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Police returned to the home and arrested Richardson on July 20.
Doyle Burke, Warren County Coroner’s chief investigator, said they also obtained environmental samples from the soil, which were put in buckets and delivered to the forensic anthropologist working on the investigation.
"We have learned more," Burke said. "That’s why we’re back out here."
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Richardson's baby had been dead since May.
"On or about May 7, 2017, one Brooke Richardson … did recklessly cause the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy," Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandi Carter wrote, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Faine said they are still waiting for the final report from the coroner's office.
Speaking to reporters after the arraignment, Richardson's attorney, Charles M. Rittgers, described his client as a "very good person" who just graduated high school and plans to attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall.
"She didn’t drink. She wasn't a partier or a smoker," Rittgers said. "By all measures a very good girl who helped children."
Pressed for more information, Rittgers said he would "refrain from giving any more comments" until he is able to learn more about the case.
If found guilty, Richardson faces one to five years in prison.