A teenager in Ohio was charged with reckless homicide this week after authorities said she gave birth to a live newborn baby and buried the child in her backyard.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, of Carlisle, Ohio, is a cheerleader and recent high school graduate with plans to attend college in the fall, according to Tribune Media.
Police arrested Richardson after discovering the remains of her newborn baby in her backyard last week. She is charged with reckless homicide, and could face up to five years in prison, the report states. She is pleading not guilty.
The Dayton Daily News reports an investigator’s report indicates the baby was born two months ago and was alive at birth. Whether the baby was still alive when he or she was buried is unclear from the report. The report does not mention the baby’s sex or gestation at birth.
Prosecutor David Fornshell said the charge “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.”
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Authorities said their investigation is ongoing. They said they launched the investigation after receiving a tip from a local doctor’s office.
Attorney Charles M. Rittgers said Richardson is a good student who does not drink or smoke or go to wild parties. He said she helped children with disabilities when she went to cheerleading camp, and worked with children at the YMCA, according to the report.
In the United States, all 50 states have safe haven laws to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide.
Save haven laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions. Several European and Asian countries also have safe haven laws or other protections in place for newborns and women in crisis.
However, many people are not aware of these laws.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-866-99BABY1 or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.