‘I tried to cremate my baby’: 2nd police interrogation video played in Skylar Richardson trial

Updated: Sep. 9, 2019 at 11:37 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The public heard from Brooke “Skylar” Richardson again on Monday when her second police interrogation video was played in court.

FULL COVERAGE | Skylar Richardson Trial

Richardson, now 20, said she did not kill her baby when she gave birth at age 18 in May 2017. She said she gave birth to a stillborn girl, Annabelle, and buried her in the family’s backyard underneath a flower pot.

She gave birth 11 days after finding out she was pregnant at an OBGYN appointment to get a refill for birth control pills.

Two months after the birth she was called to the Carlisle Police Department after her doctor called police when Richardson told her what had happened.

“I have to ask you the last time you were here you were pregnant and you’re no longer pregnant. What happened,?'” She said ‘I had it alone in my house and I buried it in my backyard,’" Dr. Boyce said.

During the interrogation, the detectives told her they knew what happened to the baby but they needed her to tell them more and the truth.

“Think about how proud Annabelle would be to have you as a mom for being truthful,” Detective Carter said.

The second interview shows Richardson telling police that her daughter was alive for five minutes, that she saw her daughter’s arms moving and heard gurgling and crying.

She tells detectives that she had the baby in the toilet and she “hit her head a little bit.”

She also states she squeezed the baby too hard and that might have killed her.

“I didn’t think she was breathing and I may have squeezed her too hard. I loved her," Richardson said.

When police spoke to her before, she said the baby never had a pulse.

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Carter questions Richardson about attempting to burn the baby after her death in an effort to cremate her.

“There was some sort of fire... some sort of heat... something. The bone doctor said there was some charring on the bones,” she said.

“What fire?... I didn’t burn her. That I’m sure of,” Richardson responded.

However, when her parents come into the interrogation room before her arrest she tells her dad “I tried to cremate the baby just a little.”

A forensic expert alerted police that she believed the baby’s bones were charred, but the doctor changed her opinion and said the bones were not in fact charred. The recanted statement came after the second police interrogation.

The defense says the officers befriended Richardson and coerced her into making the statements.

“Ultimately she was broken down,” Defense Attorney Charlie Rittgers said.

Brandon Saylor then took the stand. He was the boyfriend at the time of her child’s birth and her arrest, but not the father of the baby.

They began dating in Jan. 2017.

He told prosecutors he had no idea Richardson was pregnant and found out when everyone else did.

Assistant Prosecutor Julie Kraft then asked Saylor to take a look back at their prom picture. The photo was taken the day before Richardson gave birth.

“When you look back at these [prom] pictures does she look pregnant,” she asks.

“I would say so,” Saylor said.

He said she was complaining about having cramps at prom and he thought she was just having menstrual cramps.

Saylor text her the morning after prom and asked how she was feeling.

“I’ll tell you all about it later, but last night was like the worst ever and I didn’t go to sleep till 5:30 but I feel sooooo much better this morning I’m happy,” Richardson said.

Saylor said he found out about the baby on July 14, 2017 and heard a fetus was found in the yard.

“One of my biggest questions is who the father was,” he text Richardson.

“I just love you and you have to understand how absolutely terrified I was especially of losing you,” Richardson text him.

Warren County Sheriff’s Detective Christopher Wong, an expert in digital devices, said he extracted information on phones from Saylor, Kim Richardson and Skylar Richardson.

The jury was shown several text message exchanges between Richardson and her mom.

Shortly after going to see her OBGYN on April 26, 2017, her mom received an email from the office about the appointment.

“What does PT pregnant mean,” her mom asked.

“No clue I can call later or something and see,” Skylar responded.

“U should call right now. R u joking later. Ur life could potentially be over and u will call later,” her mom said.

Richardson told her mom it was a mistake the doctor’s office made.

The texts shown pinpointed how her mom was obsessive about her losing weight. Rittgers said she had struggled with an eating disorder for 6 years.

“These texts to her mother about her weight were common in her life,” he said.

According to prosecution, Richardson went to the gym just hours after giving birth and photographed herself and her mid-section.

“Like I’m about to be boss looking,” she text her mom.

“Could not be prouder,” her mom said. “U will be the hottest gf at Brandon’s games."

Dr. Susan Brown with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said to make an opinion about manner of death she considered fractures found on the skull and what Richardson said in the second police interrogation .

Brown said all the evidence points to a homicide. However, a forensic anthropologist said the fractures happened after the death of the infant.

MORE | ‘All evidence points to homicide’: Doctor testifies on baby’s death in Skylar Richardson trial | OBGYN says Skylar Richardson told her ‘I had it alone in my house and I buried it in my backyard'

“She buried her daughter and marked the grave. Put flowers on top of it. She didn’t throw her in a trash can. She didn’t throw her in the dumpster," Rittgers said.

“Just hours after discarding that baby’s lifeless body in the dirt, she texted her mother ‘I’m literally speechless with how happy I am,’" Assistant Prosecutor Steve Knippen said.

The trial got underway Tuesday with jury selection and is expected to last two weeks.

It is not known if Richardson will testify in her own defense.

Richardson was indicted on charges including aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering a child, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.

On Monday, Judge Oda announced the tampering with evidence charge was dropped, but all others remain.

The bailiff said Oda "didn’t believe it met the standard.”

The state also rested their case.

If convicted on all charges, she could be sentenced to prison for the rest of her life.

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