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Monday, September 28, 2009

Search Fails to Find Mitrice Richardson

Mitrice missing in Malibu area for about 2 weeks.
Sunday, 27 Sep 2009

Scott Coppersmith

Malibu - Searchers in the Santa Monica Mountains were unable to find Mitrice Richardson, the woman who disappeared after being released from a sheriff's station in the middle of the night after she was arrested in what witnesses said was a drunken condition.

Mitrice Richardson, 24, a substitute teacher from Los Angeles, was arrested at Geoffrey's restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Sept. 17, when she was unable to pay an $89 bill, according to the Sheriff's Department. When Richardson's car was searched, two marijuana cigarettes were found in her purse, deputies told her parents.

The Search for Mitrice Richardson - Earlier coverage of this story.
Mitrice Richardson's family has a Web site -- findmitrice.info -- with additional photos and information.

Deputies took her to the Malibu-Lost Hills station in Calabasas, 15 miles across the Santa Monica Mountains from Malibu, where she was booked on suspicion of not paying for the meal and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. When her mother arrived at the sheriff's station an hour later, deputies said they had released her at 1:25 a.m. because they had no room to keep her.
The restaurant's manager told her parents she was in no condition to drive due to drunkenness, but deputies said she did not appear to be intoxicated when she was released. Except for reports about a woman trying to sleep on porches at nearby houses, she has not been seen since.
Her parents have criticized deputies for letting the woman go in the middle of the night when she was impaired and had no way to get home. But sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the release was not a violation of department policy. "She exhibited no signs of mental illness or intoxication. She was fine. She's an adult," Whitmore said earlier.
Whitmore said a jailer offered to let Richardson stay through the night, but she declined. He said Richardson was last seen trying to sleep on a porch on Cold Canyon Road near Piuma Road about 6:30 a.m. Sept. 18, about six miles from the sheriff's station. Which officer answered the call? Who called about her?
Today, about 200 officers and volunteers searched the mountains from the Malibu-Lost Hills station to the coastline. Whitmore described the effort as "a massive search."
...Whitmore said. "That would be like from the Lost Hills station to the ocean." But Richardson was not found. Whitmore said...authorities would continue daily searches on a smaller scale.
..."They allowed her to walk out of that facility (had impounded her car for the marijuana in it)and down that road in the pitch black night," he told the Los Angeles Times. "That's not right. Now, I just want to find my child." Richardson is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and recently moved to Los Angeles to live with her grandmother near the area where she planned on teaching.
She last made contact with her family at her home in the Southeast area of Los Angeles on Sept. 16, police said. Richardson is black, 5 feet-5 inches and about 135 pounds. She has brown, curly hair and hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, and has tattoos on her lower abdomen and behind her neck.
more from myfoxla.com
For some reason, I have a suspicion that at least one of the officers working that morning knows what happened to her.

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