Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) sent the following letter to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller last week, requesting an investigation into the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson. Ms. Richardson is a constituent of Congresswoman Waters who has been missing since September. The text of the letter is below:
December 16, 2009
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20535
Dear Director Mueller:
As the Congresswoman for California’s 35th District, I am extremely concerned about the wellbeing of Mitrice Richardson, a constituent who disappeared on September 17, 2009 following her arrest by the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Serving on the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, which is responsible for oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), I am also concerned about the failure of the FBI Los Angeles Regional Office to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mitrice’s disappearance.
Based on reports I have read, there are questions as to whether the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station acted properly in releasing this young woman during the predawn hours without money or transportation, all while she was suffering from what the Los Angeles Police Department’s doctors have concluded to be bipolar disorder.
Due to delays in the local authorities’ investigation, the family has launched an aggressive campaign to raise money and resources to personally investigate Mitrice’s disappearance. Constituents from across my district are calling for a federal investigation and have inundated my Los Angeles office with phone calls, letters, and faxes requesting my support in their efforts to find Mitrice.
Michael Richardson, Mitrice’s father, has sold off some of his personal assets in order to raise money towards his daughter’s recovery. It is understandable that a loving parent would take extreme steps to find his daughter. However, I believe that the FBI, with its trained and experienced personnel and abundance of resources, is better equipped than a private individual for such an investigation. In addition, the FBI has the responsibility to pursue cases implicating federal criminal or civil rights statutes. I believe the circumstances and facts of this case warrant the bureau’s involvement.
Therefore, it is with great urgency that I respectfully request that the FBI open an investigation into Mitrice’s disappearance and the circumstances surrounding her arrest, detention, and release from the custody of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Member of Congress