LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – Video from the interrogation room at the Carlisle Police Department showed a despondent Skylar Richardson in 2017 telling law enforcement about giving birth to her baby, and burying it in her parents’ backyard.
Former Warren County Sheriff’s Office detective John Faine, who worked the Richardson case in 2017 and left after being demoted earlier this year, was on the witness stand when the video was played before the jury.
Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, manslaughter, abusing a corpse and tampering with evidence for the death of her baby in 2017. She had just graduated from Carlisle High School. Richardson has said the baby was stillborn when she gave birth in the middle of the night in May 2017, eight days after she found out she was pregnant.
The video showed Richardson sobbing while answering questions from Faine and Carlisle police Sgt. Katie Gee.
“It just came out when I pushed, and she wasn’t breathing,” Richardson said. “I put her in my arms and she didn’t have a heartbeat, she wasn’t breathing. I tried to feel her heart. Her eyes were closed.”
Richardson, nearly panicked, said she didn’t kill the baby. She asked repeatedly if she was going to go to jail.
“I decided to bury her,” Richardson said. “She deserved better.”
“You decided to bury her because if you’re not telling anybody, it’s the best thing to do right by (the baby)? That’s very noble, I get that, it says a lot about you,” Faine said.
Richardson said she suspected she was pregnant when she went to the OBGYN in April of 2017, but wasn’t sure. She said she had irregular periods before but now her stomach was getting larger, and she thought she could feel a baby moving.
Richardson told the police she had the baby in the middle of the night in the bathroom and on the toilet. She said she put her in a towel and held her before going downstairs, finding a small shovel and burying her in the backyard.
She said she thought about having an abortion and asked the doctors about it during the first visit, but was told the pregnancy was too far along.
“I looked online for ways I could see how I could have an abortion without going to the doctor, but I never did anything,” Richardson said. “I didn’t try to kill my baby.”
Richardson stayed in the room until her parents Scott and Kim entered.
“You should have just told us,” Kim Richardson said. “Girls get pregnant every day. It’s not the end of the world.”
Her father immediately questioned her about the police interrogation and asked her about the birth control pills she was taking while pregnant. He said she had lied regularly and said if she lied to the police she would be in more trouble.
Richardson asked why her parents didn’t believe her.
“Because you didn’t do things people normally do,” Scott Richardson said. “We should have went to the hospital. You lied to us. You buried a baby in the backyard. Nothing makes any sense.”
Kim Richardson told her daughter she probably wasn’t going home with them that night. Richardson started crying.
“How do you feel about me losing my baby,” Kim Richardson said referring to Richardson. “I’m losing my child and I’ve done everything right.”
Scott Richardson told them to calm down. He moved to the other side of the table and hugged his daughter who broke down again, time in his arms.
“Whatever it is, we’ll get through this,” he told her.