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Warren County buried baby incident reminds some of famous Centerville case of 1994

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, was arrested and charged with reckless homicide last week after investigators found her baby’s remains in the backyard of her Carlisle home. The Warren County prosecutor later said the baby was born alive and was not stillborn.

READ MORE: Warren County buried baby case: 5 things we know now

The incident has reminded some of another case that garnered national attention.

Rebecca Hopfer, then a Centerville High School student, was charged with the death of her child on Aug. 14, 1994, when she was 17. Hopfer gave birth to the baby, which her parents did not know she was carrying, in secret. After the body was discovered, Hopfer turned herself in to the police.

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detective testified later that Hopfer delivered a live, crying female baby into her toilet. Then she muffled the infant's cries by wrapping her in towels she had first used to mop blood from the bathroom floor, the detective said.

READ MORE: Carlisle baby alive at birth, prosecutor says after teen mom in court

Hopfer was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years to life in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville in June 1995.

READ MORE: Anthropologist examining remains of baby found in Carlisle yard

On Jan. 15, 2004, Gov. Bob Taft commuted Hopfer’s sentence, making her eligible for parole after serving eight years in prison. Through the course of the investigation and her stay in prison, Hopfer’s case gained national attention from outlets or programs such as 48 hours.

Investigators in the Richardson case acted on a tip found from a doctor’s office, the remains of an infant were found buried in a Richardson’s backyard. 

READ MORE: Carlisle mom, 18, arrested, charged in Warren County baby-remains case

Richardson has a preliminary court date set for Aug. 1.  

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