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Brooke Skylar Richardson (born March 9, 1999) is a villainess who murdered her infant daughter in 2017.
Skylar (as she was often called) became pregnant during her senior year of high school, though she kept her pregnancy a secret from her friends and family, mainly due to fear of public reaction to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. She gave birth to a daughter, named Annabelle, after senior prom in May 2017, but days later, Skylar bludgeoned her baby daughter to death, and later burned and buried her body.
Two months later, Skylar went to her OB-GYN, where she revealed that she was once pregnant. It was after the revelation that Annabelle was found buried in Skylar's garden, with the villainess claiming that her daughter was stillborn. Skylar was arrested after it was determined that Annabelle was killed, and after two years, her trial began on September 3, 2019. Nine days later on September 12, Brooke was found not guilty of murder, but was convicted of burying her daughter's corpse; she received a sentence of three years probation.
Brooke, also known as Skylar, was born in Charlise, Ohio. Charlise is a small town with only 5,000 residents. Brooke has a brother named Jackson, and her mother and father’s names are Kim and Scott Richardson. From the outside looking in, the home looked loving and perfect.
Brooke and her brother were athletic, Jackson played football, and Brooke was on the cheerleading team. Brooke was a flier, she was very aware of her body and loved the sport. Unfortunately, the pressure of being a cheerleader got to Brooke, and she developed an eating disorder. Brooke’s eating disorder was severe and practically ran her day-to-day life. Brooke’s mother recounts that when Brooke was 12 years old, she did not want to buy gum because it had too many calories.
Brooke is known to be a private person. She struggles to trust in people and express her emotions and may play a large role in her eating disorder.
In July of 2016, Brooke started dating a friend’s cousin. They dated for a short amount of time and ended the relationship a few months later. Going into 2017, Brooke started dating another guy. Brandon, Brooke’s new boyfriend, was a junior at her high school, and Brooke enjoyed being with him. Their relationship became serious very fast. Brooke’s parents saw that their daughter was happy and liked Brandon a lot. They believed that he was a good influence on her and saw Brooke at her best for a long time. Brooke’s parents realized that she was gaining weight, and they thought it was due to her being happy. Brooke’s parents said that she was on her way to a happier, healthier life.
Since Brooke was in a relationship, her mother thought it was time for Brooke to get on birth control. The two went to the doctor, and when they got there, Brooke’s mother sat in the waiting room, and Brooke went into the room. When Brooke came out of the room to leave, her mother saw that she had been crying. Brooke told her mother that she was crying because the appointment was intimidating, and it was her first gynecology appointment.
Although it was her first gynecology appointment, that was not the reason she was crying. Brooke was told that she was pregnant and would be giving birth in less than 10 weeks. Even though the doctor had told Brooke ten weeks, she was actually about 36 weeks pregnant. The doctor expressed concern about the situation, but Brooke asked the doctor to give her the prescription anyway so that her mom would not be mad. The doctor gave Brooke the birth control prescription even though she was pregnant.
A few days after hearing the news that she was pregnant, Brooke and Brandon went to prom. No one knew or could tell that Brooke was pregnant. After the dance, she did not tell anyone about her pregnancy, including Brandon. She went about her life as normal as possible.
A few months later, the police show up at the Richardson household. They told her mother that Brooke was not in trouble but, they needed to speak to her. Once she came to the door, they brought Brooke to the police station on July 14th of 2017.
Brooke’s parents had no idea why their daughter was being questioned at this point in time. The police had gotten a call from the OBGYN the day Brooke went to the doctor. The doctor told the police that Brooke was pregnant and that rumors were going around that Brooke had a baby and buried it in her backyard.
Once Brooke was taken into the interrogation room, she started telling them everything. She claimed that two months after the initial appointment, she went back to the doctor’s office. Brooke went to the doctor and said that it was a stillborn baby. Brooke told the police that she gave birth on May 7th of 2017. Brooke says that she started having labor pains earlier that day but did not tell anyone. Brooke gave birth to the said stillborn baby girl that night in her bathroom.
Brooke claims that once the baby was born, she checked for a heartbeat, and there was no heartbeat or movement. Brooke said that she attempted every step to bring life to the baby, but nothing worked. After realizing that nothing was working, Brooke went into her backyard and dug a small grave for her baby.
In the interrogation room, Brooke tells the questioners that she did not kill her baby. Brooke had made it very clear that the baby was indeed stillborn. The authorities are not sure, however, and this becomes the biggest problem in this case.
After a few hours, they tell Brooke’s parents about the situation. The police start off by telling Brooke’s parents that she had been pregnant this whole time. Then they tell the parents that she had the baby in their home and buried it in their backyard.
When Brooke’s parents can unite with their daughter, they instantly hug her, and Brooke starts crying. In the interrogation video, Brooke apologizes to her mother and father and explains the whole situation to them. Brooke told her family that she named her baby Annabell and that the baby was not Brandon’s. It was Trey’s, which was her boyfriend before Brandon.
After the interrogation, the police go to Brooke’s home, and they looked for the baby’s body. It did not take them long to find the grave and the baby. Once they had the baby’s remains, they took the remains to a pathologist. They hoped that they could figure out if it was stillborn or murdered.
After the baby had been located and taken from the property, the Richardson family returned home. Six days later, the police called Brooke’s parents and asked Brooke to come back down to the station for more questioning.
Once at the police station, the police tell Brooke that the pathologist report showed that the baby was burned. Brooke tells the police that she does not know how that could be true and that she was not responsible for the burns. After being pushed into the interrogation, Brooke’s story changed. Brooke says that she may have burnt the baby’s legs with a lighter. Brooke said that she wanted to cremate the baby. The longer she was in the interrogation room, the faster her story changed. Brooke changed her initial statement.
Brooke said that the baby was not stillborn. She says that she heard the baby gurgle. After that statement, Brooke was charged with reckless homicide, and Brooke was taken to jail. Once she was held, Brooke’s parents put up bail, and they brought her home before the trial started.
When the trial started, Brooke pleads not guilty to murdering her newborn baby. Two weeks later, the case was presented to a grand jury, and she was given new charges. The new charges were aggravated murder, which carries the life sentence in Ohio. Brooke was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, and abuse of a corpse. Brooke’s parents said that there was no way Brooke harmed that baby. Since new charges were introduced, Brooke was arrested and sent to jail a second time. Brooke had been bailed out again.
As time went on, another pathology report came out, and this time it said something completely different. This report stated that the initial statement from the pathologist was wrong. There were no burns on the baby. After this information was brought to the public, the defense told everyone that they believed that Brooke was coaxed into saying that the baby was burned. Interrogation tactics do play a role in this. Many people in the past have confessed to things that the interrogators knew they did not do. The defense stated that Brooke gave a false confession. In the interrogation video, the questioner suggests that she may have tried to burn or cremate the baby. Another thing that was brought to light was the statement about the gurgling. Interrogators had also suggested and asked if she heard a little gurgle.
The prosecution stuck with the charges even though Brooke may have been telling the truth. Although the report shows there were absolutely no burns and the baby was most likely stillborn, the prosecution did not care and continued with the same charges. In July of 2019, the state contacted Brooke’s lawyers and tried to make a deal. The state said that they would take off the aggravated murder charge if Brooke agreed to plead guilty to the rest of the alleged charges. Brooke decided not to take the plea and said that she will not confess to something I did not do. Brooke’s parents said that Brooke was tempted to take it but decided not to.
The second trial started on September 3rd of 2019. The biggest challenge for the prosecution was the lack of evidence. More specifically, the lack of evidence saying that the baby was alive at birth. Was the baby stillborn or not? One thing that the police question is the trip to the OBGYN before she had given birth. The doctor saw that the baby had a healthy heartbeat 11 days before its birth. Brooke also said that she did take birth control pills while pregnant.
Brooke had also searched up how to get rid of a pregnancy. The court stated that Brooke probably wanted to do anything possible to sabotage the pregnancy. The court also argued that Brooke’s mother knew about the pregnancy. The possibility is there the doctor’s office had accidentally emailed Brooke’s mother the pregnancy test results. Once Brooke’s mother saw the email, she texted Brooke saying, “what the hell is this email about” and Brooke convinced her mother that it was not real. Brooke’s mother also said that if it was true, Brooke’s life would be over.
Many people argue that Brooke’s mother knew about the pregnancy and did not want their image tarnished. In an interrogation video, you can hear Brooke’s mother say that they had a perfect life. Other text messages were found between Brooke and her mother that said she hates being so big and hopes she can fit in the prom dress. Other texts say that she hates feeling like this and wants more than anything to feel better. A message was found that was sent right after she had given birth. Brooke said she was so excited to wear something cute and finished the message with, “yay, my belly is back!” Her mother also made her lose 20 pounds during her pregnancy by taking laxatives.
Brooke also texted her boyfriend the night she gave birth and said it was the worst night of her life. Brooke also said that she feels so much better now, and she is so happy. People argue the question if Brandon knew.
On September 12th of 2019, the jury found Brooke Richardson not guilty on all charges. Since Brooke buried the baby, she received a guilty verdict to gross abuse of a corpse. This is a felony charge and carries about a year in prison. Instead of getting a year incarcerated, Brooke received three years on probation. Recently it came to the publics’ knowledge that Brooke’s probation was reduced to one year.
During the trial, Brooke said that if she did not receive a life sentence, she would seek help for her eating disorder and live her life as best she can. Brooke was diagnosed with severe depression, PTSD, and body dysmorphia. Brooke now works as a paralegal and serves her community. Brooke has been interviewed and says that she feels guilty for not telling anyone about the pregnancy. Brooke also says that she feels like she is being haunted every day of her life.