What to Know About the Ex-Cheerleader Accused of Burying Her Newborn Days After Senior Prom

The then-teen allegedly buried the baby in her backyard.
Warren County Sheriff's Department

Brooke Skylar Richardson is charged with killing her child and burying it in her parents' backyard.

Brooke Skylar Richardson was an 18-year-old blonde cheerleader with a clean-cut image in 2017. But just days after her senior prom, with college on her horizon, she allegedly covered up a huge secret she had been keeping — burying it in her parents' backyard until the police found it and charged her with murder.

As Richardson, now 20, heads to trial in Lebanon, Ohio, take a look back at the case of a small-town girl, her hidden teen pregnancy and the lengths prosecutors say she went to conceal it.

Richardson was a cheerleader at Carlisle High School with plans to attend the University of Cincinnati for nursing. Her brother played football and her family seemed to have an all-American image. But a prosecutor says that was not the case and that the family was "obsessed with external appearances."

When Richardson learned from her doctor that she was pregnant, prosecutors say she reacted in an extreme way, indicating she never wanted to be a teen mother and not attending follow-up appointments. They say she also dodged calls from doctors and assistants. However, her attorneys argue that an emotional reaction is normal from a teen learning she is pregnant.

She allegedly kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone, even from her parents, until she gave birth.

Just a few days after prom, her attorneys say she delivered a stillborn baby in the middle of the night and buried the remains in her parents' backyard, not knowing what else to do. Family members have claimed she suffered from an eating disorder, which led to the baby's stillbirth. She graduated not too longer afterward.

A few months later in July, Richardson told a doctor that she had delivered a stillborn baby and buried the remains. The doctor then told police about what Richardson said, and an investigation was launched. 

Police discovered the baby's remains in the family's backyard, claiming that it had been born alive and Richardson intentionally killed it and buried it to keep up appearances. 

Richardson was charged with aggravated murder, manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. She has pleaded not guilty and is on house arrest.

The jury in the case was seated Tuesday, and the trial could last two weeks. If convicted of aggravated murder, Richardson could face life in prison.