Malibu remains identified as Mitrice Richardson, source says - L.A.NOW


The skeletal remains found in Malibu Canyon on Monday afternoon have been identified by authorities as those of Mitrice Richardson, the young woman who vanished nearly a year ago after being released from the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The identification of the remains, found deep in a ravine by park rangers checking for marijuana plants, apparently brings to a grim close the much-publicized mystery over the whereabouts of the Cal State Fullerton graduate who would have celebrated her 25th birthday this past April.

An official announcement is scheduled at the Sheriff's Department headquarters at 9:15 a.m.

Her arrest for being unable to pay an $89 dinner tab at a Malibu restaurant and her subsequent release in the dark hours of the early morning last Sept. 17 without a car, cellphone or purse sparked widespread criticism of Sheriff's Department personnel and triggered two lawsuits accusing the department of negligence.

Beyond that, her disappearance provoked debate over the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's procedures for releasing people at night as well as whether she should have been held for a mental health evaluation after she acted bizarrely at the restaurant.

And at a time when law enforcement agencies and the media have been accused of devoting less attention to minorities who go missing than to pretty white women who disappear, Richardson — a black woman who was a strikingly attractive former beauty pageant contestant — got extraordinary attention, becoming a high-profile enough case to make the cover of People magazine last fall along with several other missing people.

Over several months, law enforcement carried out four searches — the last being the most extensive ever undertaken by the county -- covering a total of 40 square miles of Malibu Canyon while investigators from the L.A. Police Department spent months tracking clues and were eventually joined by L.A. Sheriff's Department detectives. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas got the county to offer a reward for information leading to her whereabouts. Friends and family followed up on sightings and arranged a fifth search of the canyon by unmanned drones. "If you knew how many buses I've chased down," Ronda Hampton, a psychologist who was friends with Richardson, said recently.

Earlier this summer, Los Angeles investigators scoured Las Vegas for the missing woman after a friend of Richardson's from her teen years said he saw her at a bar in a Las Vegas hotel in June and approached her, calling her by name. The woman looked at him and wordlessly walked away. But investigators called it their best lead to date and held a news conference in Las Vegas pleading with Richardson to come forward and let them know if she was alright.

The bones that were found in the ravine on Monday were about a mile out of the range of the county's last big search for her.

-- Carla Hall and Andrew Blankstein

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous said...
    I believe the same about the graffiti.The clues are there in that mural.Its the same thing that a serial killer would do,leave clues for the police.This person that did this was obviously racist and looked at black women as afro hoes because it was writtin on the wall.I would like to say that this person may have been caucasion and red headed with a nose ring.He had obviously knew about the marijuana found in her car and used that as her classification in these drawings,maybe thats why this person left her in a pot farm.There was another caucasion seen in this drawing,standing over her,while her arms and legs were raised as if she was being raped or hurt in a kind of manner,and trying to defend herself.It also tells me that there were two people involved in this.In the drawing,she was on all fours,with a joint in her mouth and a LA tattoo on her butt.Which symbolizes this person viewing her as a permiscuious party girl.And by the looks of these women on the wall,they all look the same.Which tells me that he drew the same woman over and over again in this mural,and that tells me that he's bragging about what he did,he's proud of what he did,and he enjoyed doing this to her.And I believe that this is mitrice in this drawing.Also,I would like to add that I believe this is a hate crime,because if you look closely,her arm was raised with her hand open in every single image,which symbolizes white power.Now I'm no psychic,but I am very observant and analytical.The family definatly needs their own crew on this case,I wouldn't trust those malibu police with my life.I really believe they had something to do with this or know about it and are covering up alot.Get someone to get fingerprints from the handles of those paint brushes and trust me,whoever did this knows every detail of this case.And their following this story constantly.Isn't it funny that an officer happened to just stumble across her remains,or did he know they were there already.And why not just play the role like we found her,to give the parents their closure,so they would go away and be away from the media,so as to not cause anymore attention on the police station.Now,I have alot of theorys about this case,but one thing I know for sure,is what I'm seeing in this mural.I hope and pray they find out for sure what happened and who did it.And if those remains are really hers or just a set up to shut the whole case down.Im praying because this is truely bothering me.To the parents,never give up,find her justice.
    August 28, 2010 9:44 PM