Warning: This article deals with sensitive content and may be distressing for some readers.
In 2017, Brooke Skylar Richardson, then 18, went to her gynaecologist to ask for birth control. Looking at her records, the doctor, Casey Boyce, noticed the teenager had been pregnant less than three months prior.
When asked why she wasn’t still pregnant, the former high school cheerleader cried, telling Dr Boyce she had recently given birth to a stillborn baby.
Richardson shared with the doctor that no one knew she was pregnant and, after giving birth, she buried the stillborn’s remains in her family’s backyard in Carlisle, America. She named her baby “Annabelle”.
Dr Boyce was concerned, and called the police who later discovered the infant’s buried body.
What has since been revealed is on May 7, 2017, the former cheerleader gave birth on the bathroom floor in her family home. It was two days after her high school prom.
The baby's remains were discovered by detectives on July 17, 2017, and just over a week later, Richardson was arrested and charged with reckless homicide. Police believe Brooke Skylar Richardson murdered her baby. However Richardson insists the baby was not alive when she gave birth.
Two years later, Richardson, now 20, faced court charged with: aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
"The state expects the evidence to show that on May 7th of 2017, Brooke gave birth to her daughter in her house in the middle of the night. Upon realising that she was going into labour, she still told no one," Assistant Prosecutor Julie Kraft said during court in early September.
"She did not tell her parents, who were asleep downstairs, or her brother who was across the hall."