The parents of Brooke Skylar Richardson, the former cheerleader who was accused of killing a baby she had secretly given birth to and buried in her backyard, spoke for the first time since their daughter was acquitted of murder.
& # 39; She did what she thought she should do. Maybe looking outside in was wrong, but in her mind she just delivered a stillborn baby, & her father Scott Richardson told CBS 48 Hours.
Skylar, 20, was acquitted of murdering the baby – which she called Annabelle – after a much-published trial earlier this month. She was convicted of gross mistreatment of a corpse, but was given time to serve and went home the day after her conviction with her parents, Kim and Scott.
The Richardsons reveal the depths of eating disorders of her & # 39; highly guarded & # 39; daughter, who helped mask the pregnancy and keep them in the dark for nearly a year while Skylar became pregnant, gave birth, buried the child, and then said no word for two months thereafter.
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Brooke Skylar Richardson's parents Kim and Scott reveal the depths of their daughter's eating disorder and trial as they speak out for the first time about a CBS 48 Hours special
Skylar, now 20, was filmed for the special in the family's house, but she was not interviewed
On this photo Skylar is depicted in a bikini after a seven-month pregnant vacation with her family
These photos show that Skylar's body hardly changes during her pregnancy. She is pictured (left) on February 17, 2017 and (right) May 5, 2017, just a few days before she gave birth
For nearly a year, the CBS 48 hours followed the family, and although Skylar cannot be interviewed, her parents talk extensively about the ordeal.
When asked if their daughters keep a lot of secrets, mother Kim said: & # 39; Yes. So much, and we don't know what they are. And I don't know we'll ever do that. & # 39;
But despite their daughter's secrets, her father Scott continues to insist: & There is no way she will ever hurt anyone.
Her mother added: & # 39; There is no question of it. I would put my life into it. & # 39;
& # 39; Our life was completely turned upside down & # 39 ;, Kim said. & # 39; I don't know when it hit me, but I was a grandmother and never had anything of it. & # 39;
Skylar's mother shared this new photo of her when she was eight months pregnant in April 2017 and said she couldn't tell she was carrying a baby
The show also reveals for the first time that Richardson was presented with a plea by prosecutors.
Kim said: & # 39; It was a Sunday morning and she woke up and I still see her sitting on the couch and she says, "I'm not going to argue for something that I didn't do." And I got sick in my heart, but it must be her decision. She has to live with this at the end of the day. & # 39;
And when Skylar was finally acquitted this month, Kim said she wanted to fall to her knees & # 39 ;.
& # 39; She did the right thing by not taking the plea, & # 39; she said. & # 39; I just wanted it, like & # 39; you were right & # 39 ;. We felt free. & # 39;
Skylar gave birth in May 2017 in the upstairs bathroom of her family's home in Carlisle, Ohio. She said the baby was still born.
She was then 18 and had been suffering from eating disorders for years. The father of the baby was not her boyfriend, but the cousin of a friend whom she had briefly dated last summer.
Because she hadn't told anyone she was pregnant, she buried the lifeless baby in the backyard of the family and marked the place with some flowers.
Only when she went back to the same gynecologist who told her she was pregnant to get birth control pills two months later did she know what she had done.
She was initially accused of murder, manslaughter, gross mistreatment of a corpse and child threat after a pathologist told the police that she had burned the baby's corpse.
The explanation was based on the fact that the bones seemed darker in some areas. The pathologist remembered her statement, but detectives had already persuaded Skylar to confess it.
In his interview, Scott, Skylar's father, said they thought they were doing the right thing by having her work.
& # 39; We thought we were doing the right thing by working together. It turned out to be absolutely wrong. & # 39;
Skylar's mother Kim, who did not testify during the trial, said that her life was upside down & # 39; was standing
Skylar at home since he was acquitted of murder and has started a treatment program for eating disorders
The 20-year-old broke into tears when she was acquitted of murder earlier this month
In the interview, Kim insists that she knew nothing about the pregnancy.
& # 39; We missed everything, & # 39; both she and Scott said.
Kim also shared a photo of Skylar that was taken in April, weeks before she gave birth.
& # 39; You don't know, & # 39; she said about her figure.
In another photo, Skylar is depicted in a bikini after a seven-month pregnant vacation with her family.
& # 39; She was wearing a two-piece. I told her she looked good. I mean, for the first time in my life I thought she was healthy, she has a healthy relationship, she really cares about Brandon. I could see she did that. & # 39;
When she heard that her daughter had been pregnant and buried the baby, Kim said she was in shock.
& # 39; I could not feel my body. I couldn't get up. How can that happen? I've seen her every day. I look at her. I'm talking to her. I hug her, & she said.
Skylar's mother Kim said: & # 39; You don't know, & # 39; her daughter is in the photo & # 39; s pregnant during the entire pregnancy
This photo was taken at the end of March from Skylar and her friend Brandon during the spring break while she was seven months pregnant
During her trial, defense lawyers explained how no one in her family thought it strange that she grew up during her pregnancy because they said her weight fluctuated so much.
& # 39; She looked healthy, & # 39; her mother said about her growing belly. Her father agreed: & # 39; We were actually happy that she finally arrived. & # 39;
The Richardsons reveal in the interview that Skylar was diagnosed with body syndrome and would vomit to lose weight during the preseason.
This week Skylar started a treatment program for eating disorders.
At the time of the trial, Kim said that Skylar & # 39; not good & # 39; used to be.
& # 39; She is around 90 pounds. She is wearing children's clothes. She has no clothes for the court. Everything – we have to pin everything to her, like sewing her in her clothes.
& # 39; It is a lifelong illness. She will have this all her life. But we can do this & # 39 ;, says her mother.
Prosecutors showed the jury this photo of the skeletal remains of the child after they had been dug up from the garden of the family
Brooke Skylar Richardson is shown during her second police interview last July, where she told the police that she had set fire to her baby
In one of her interviews, Skylar's mother Kim described the ordeal as her & # 39; worst nightmare & # 39; and said the family in & # 39; purgatory & # 39; had lived.
The family says they have been haunted for over two years by the media storm that created the case.
Kim, those prosecutors and lawyers said she & # 39; obsessed & # 39; was by the weight of her daughter, compared the extent of publicity with the Super Bowl.
& # 39; It felt like Super Bowl level. It was as if the world stopped. Everyone wanted to know what was going on in our backyard and what had happened.
& # 39; The sidewalk was lined with people sitting in deck chairs. We have no privacy, we are followed, stalked.
& # 39; For me, Facebook has changed to & # 39; hate book & # 39 ;, she said.
Scott said the family & # 39; stalked & # 39; and that they are still afraid to speak out.
& # 39; I'm very scared. We are terrified of talking to you. We don't want things to get wrong, & he said.
As part of their defense, Skylar's lawyers showed photos of how her weight fluctuated before she became pregnant (above) within the six-month period. She had suffered from anorexia years ago, her family says, and was under pressure from her mother to stay slim
The couple say that Skylar's fault in the end was that she buried the baby without telling anyone.
& # 39; She had a stillborn child and then made a bad choice without telling anyone and burying the baby, & # 39; said her mother.
Her father Scott said: & She carefully placed the baby in the ground. She didn't have a coffin. She buried the baby and placed a flower over it. She set a vase as a marker. You can see it from her window. & # 39;
Scott, who testified during the trial, said there was no question that she could ever have hurt the baby.
Skylar has never spoken publicly except to apologize for her conviction.
& # 39; I just wanted to say how sorry I was. I can sometimes be selfish, but I would like to think that I have gotten better knowing that I have upset everyone and hurt so many people with what I have done and I am sorry and I am so sorry. I am really sorry and I understand and thank you. & # 39;
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