Coroner couldn’t confirm sex of baby in reckless homicide investigation

Coroner couldn’t confirm sex of baby in reckless homicide investigation
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson (Warren County Jail)
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson (Warren County Jail)
The shallow grave dig scene after deputies removed remains in Carlisle. (FOX19 NOW)
The shallow grave dig scene after deputies removed remains in Carlisle. (FOX19 NOW)

WARREN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The sex of the baby that was found buried in a shallow grave behind a Carlisle home cannot be determined, according to Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove.

He said the anthropologist is involved in the case to uncover the answers that remain in question, and said there's a reason the anthropologist is a part of the investigation.

"If it was a fully intact person, why would an anthropologist be involved," he said.

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The infant was born alive sometime in May, according to court documents and prosecutors.

Uptegrove said given the body's condition found on Eagle Ridge Drive on July 14, he could not determine the sex simply by looking at it.

"We have the capability required to do some type of DNA testing, in order to determine the sex, but at this juncture... I'm not withholding that information, we just clearly cannot make that determination based on the condition of the remains at the time of the discovery," he said.

It's estimated the baby had been in the backyard grave for 8 to 10 weeks.

Uptegrove was asked if the baby was developed enough, if 18-year-old Brooke "Skylar" Richardson would have known the sex of her baby.

"Based on the information I have, that at the time it would have been clearly evident… the sex of the baby at the time of birth," he said.

Richardson was charged with one count of reckless homicide after the remains were found buried in her backyard.

Uptegrove said they do have an idea of the gestational age, but they can't release that information as the investigation is ongoing.

He said there was no question when they first responded to the scene to investigate, the remains were that of a human.

"Well, we knew it was a human baby. It wasn't an animal. It was clear when removing it from there that it was a baby… that it was a human," Uptegrove said.

Late Monday, investigators, including some wearing gloves used to collect evidence, searched the home and seized items including what appeared to be a large portion of carpet.

At least two vehicles from the Warren County Sheriff's Office and two Carlisle police cruisers were at the residence for seven hours, leaving at 1 a.m. Tuesday.

A warrant filed last Thursday in Franklin Municipal Court claims Richardson did "recklessly cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy" around May 7.

She pleaded not guilty in her first court appearance.

Richardson just graduated high school and plans to attend the University of Cincinnati, according to her attorney, Charlie Rittgers. The cheerleader also worked at the YMCA with children with special needs.

"She didn't drink, she wasn't a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl," Rittgers said.

Uptegrove said he is waiting for instruction from the prosecutor and the he Warren County Sheriff's Office, as far as any DNA testing goes, or who else may be implicated in the crime.

Forensic anthropologists at the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory are analyzing the human remains. A report is not expected for another 3 to 4 weeks.

Richardson is set to return to court on Aug. 8.

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