The parents of former high school cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson, who was tried for the death of her newborn child, speak to 48 HOURS in their first televised interview to be broadcast Saturday, Sept. 28 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS have the real story behind the international headlines in “The Case Against Brooke Skylar Richardson.” Moriarty explores Richardson’s life, the potential impact an eating disorder had on her decisions, why she hid the pregnancy, and a never-before-reported offer the prosecutors made to Skylar Richardson before trial that could have changed everything.
Richardson’s parents detail the impact of the case on their family, on their daughter and more in their first televised interviews.
Richardson’s mother, Kim, describes the last two years as, “The worst nightmare. Purgatory every day.”
She tells Moriarty, “Our lives have been completely turned upside down.”
“We’re followed, stalked, harassed,” Kim adds. “Facebook, to me, turned into Hatebook.”
In April 2017, Brooke Skylar Richardson, who suffered from an eating disorder, learned she was pregnant and told no one. Then, on May 7, 2017, less than 48 hours after her high school prom, she gave birth to a daughter in her home, still telling no one. In July 2017, she visited an OB-GYN, and told the doctors her baby was stillborn, and that she buried the body in the backyard of the family home. The doctors notified authorities and Richardson was interrogated by police without a lawyer. She was charged with a number of counts, including aggravated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
“There’s no way she would ever hurt anyone,” Scott Richardson, Skylar’s father, tells Moriarty.
“There’s no way. I would stake my life on it,” says Kim.
Kim tells Moriarty about the shock of learning her daughter had been pregnant and secretly given birth.
“I couldn’t feel my body. I could not get up,” Kim says. “How could that happen? I’ve seen her every day. I look at her. I talk to her. I hug her.”
Scott Richardson regrets letting his daughter talk to police without an attorney. “That was the biggest mistake I’ve made in my entire life,” he says.
Richardson’s parents open up about their daughter, the lasting impact of the incredible attention the case generated, and they address her eating disorder and the impact that may have had on how she hid the pregnancy.
How much did her weight and eating rule Brooke Skylar Richardson’s life?
“Oh, 95%… that is her life,” Kim Richardson says.
The Richardsons tell Moriarty that Skylar would binge and purge. In 2017 as they watched their daughter put on some weight, the Richardsons thought Skylar’s eating disorder was finally under control.
“She looked healthy,” Kim says.
“We were actually pleased that she was finally gaining some weight,” Scott says.
Moriarty and 48 HOURS are there for Richardson’s trial and the emotional aftermath.
What really happened that night in May 2017?
48 HOURS, which launched in 1988, finished the 2018-2019 season as Saturday’s #1 non-sports broadcast for the 13th consecutive season. The broadcast is one of the most successful true-crime shows in television history. 48 HOURS has helped exonerate the wrongly convicted and solve cold cases, and is committed to investigating the most compelling murder cases.
48 HOURS: “The Case Against Brooke Skylar Richardson” is produced by Lisa Freed, Stephanie Slifer, Lincoln Farr and Jonathan Leach. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.