A former high school honors student could face prison time after the skeletal remains of an infant were found buried behind her home earlier this month.
Brooke Skyler Richardson, 18, was arrested Thursday night and later charged with reckless homicide in connection with the case, WCPO reports.
The discovery was made after a doctor notified police on July 14 about the remains at the home in Carlisle, Ohio, which is between Cincinnati and Dayton.
At the time the remains were initially exhumed, authorities believed they were from a stillborn baby who had been interred for about four months.
But Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell disclosed Friday that the evidence shows the baby was actually born alive and was not stillborn. Investigators believe Richardson gave birth to the baby in May, the Dayton Daily News reports.
Richardson had just graduated this spring from Carlisle High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and was also on the track team, cheerleading squad and homecoming court.
The teen also helped disabled children at a cheer camp and worked with kids at a YMCA, according to her lawyer, Charles Rittgers.
”She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped children,” Rittgers said. “She’s by all means a very good person.”
Shovels and yellow tape could be seen on the home’s property Thursday before officials announced they had arrested Richardson, who was later released on a $15,000 bond.
Neighbor Jeff Oaks told WCPO that the home was located in the “jewel” of Carlisle and that he was surprised it had become a crime scene.
“You see the guy on TV that’s interviewed by somebody, and they say, ‘Oh, it never happens in my town,’” Oaks said. “Well, hey, that’s this. This moment.”
Richardson, who has pleaded not guilty, was at the Franklin Municipal Court building for a brief court appearance on Friday. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1.
Richardson is enrolled to attend University of Cincinnati this fall.
[Feature Photo: Carlisle County Sheriff’s Office]