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Parents Of Cheerleader Acquitted Of Murdering Newborn Speak Out For The First Time

TW: mentions of child death. We've been closely following the story of Brooke Skylar Richardson, the former cheerleader who was accused of murdering her newborn and then burying the baby's body in the backyard of the family home. Richardson, then 17, discovered she was pregnant in April 2017 when she went to her doctor to get on birth control, but learned she was already approximately 32 weeks along. She kept her pregnancy a secret from her family and friends, until giving birth in the bathroom at home in May 2017.

This is where the stories differ - Richardson maintains the baby was stillborn, and she buried the body because she didn't know what else to do. Authorities and prosecutors claim that the baby was born alive, and Richardson killed the baby before hiding the body. In June 2017, after being told by Richardson that she'd given birth, her doctor alerted authorities and a search of the property unearthed the baby's decomposing remains. Richardson was charged and went on trial, before being acquitted of the most serious charges earlier this month (she was found guilty of abuse of a corpse and sentenced to three years probation).

It was a heartbreaking case from start to finish, and now, Richardson's parents are finally breaking their silence about their daughter, the case, the media scrutiny, and how they've coped with it all.

Kim and Scott Richardson sat down for a special 48 Hours report airing this weekend, and opened up about how the case has affected their family. Kim Richardson, Brooke's mother, says she is finally processing that she was a grandmother, but never got to experience any of the joys of welcoming a grandchild into the family. They had no idea Brooke was even pregnant, let alone that she'd given birth in their home and that the baby was buried in their backyard. When police descended on their home that summer in 2017, they learned the horrifying truth about what had happened.

They both say that the intense media scrutiny has put their family under enormous strain and stress; reporters and gawkers camped outside the family home after the case made national news and throughout the investigation and trial. Kim says they were followed, stalked, and harassed on social media, and that it hasn't stopped since Brooke's acquittal. But both Kim and Scott maintain that they had no idea Brooke was pregnant, and acknowledge that they missed signs that something was wrong. They say they believe their daughter's story, and lament that she made a terrible choice which set off this chain of events that they will deal with for the rest of their lives.

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