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Woman is missing after being released from Malibu/Lost Hills sheriff's station

Police investigators and family were asking for the public’s help today in finding a 24-year-old Los Angeles woman last seen leaving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills substation early Thursday morning.

Mitrice Richardson was released from the substation in the 27000 block of Agoura Road about 1:25 a.m. after she was arrested for allegedly failing to pay for a meal and being in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Richardson had been arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday after failing to pay an $89.21 bill at Geoffrey’s Malibu. Sheriff’s deputies discovered the marijuana in her white 1990 Honda Civic, which was impounded, authorities said.

In an interview, her father, Michael Richardson, questioned the Sheriff's Department’s decision to release her without knowing for certain whether she was intoxicated or had arranged for transportation. “They allowed her to walk out of that facility and down that road in the pitch black night,” he said. “That’s not right. Now, I just want to find my child.”

Whitmore said Richardson was released because “she exhibited no signs of mental illness or intoxication. She was fine. She’s an adult.”

Richardson’s parents filed a missing person’s report with the Los Angeles Police Department. The misdemeanor charges are being handled by sheriff’s investigators.

Police are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at (213) 485-5381, or (877) LAPD-24-7 after business hours or on weekends.

--Louis Sahagun

Comments () | Archives (128)

Guess she didn't matter to Sheriff Lee Baca and his staff because she wasn't a rich and famous person like Mel Gibson, the kind he loves to court.

This woman clearly didn't have the money to pay for her meal, so she was arrested, then they impounded/ took her car, and let her out onto the streets in the early hours of the morning with no money, no car, not phoning her family, maybe stoned, to walk away? That is criminal as well as criminally stupid and cruel. They arrested her at 8:00 but hours later, didn't call her family, nothing.

So they let her hitch-hike, where those picking her up can be rapists and murderers, driving too fast as they often do at night on PCH, and/ or more drunk and stoned than she was. She could have been harmed or run down.

Also shame on Geoffrey's for having the woman arrested for not paying for a meal -- what's the whole story here? If someone forgets a wallet or their credit card doesn't work, couldn't they have let her call someone to get the money, got her address and phone and license plate number -- she clearly HAD a car in their lot, or they could have followed her to her car -- anything.

Callous, cruel, all around. Shame on the Sheriff and the Merchant of Malibu. The parents should definitely sue the Sheriff.

Hey, father of the girl, raise to her to pay her freaking dinner bill, and maybe she won't get arrested. See how that works? What's not right is you raised a little thief with trendy dining habits and no cash.

Not having all the facts, but its not the responsibility of the sheriffs department to make sure the persons released make phone calls. When she is arrested she has the opportunity to make calls, then why didnt she? If she was so intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics then I would say she should not have been released due to her condition. She could have been kept until she had sobered up. Dont think all the blame should be placed on the sheriffs department.

I agree with you Louis, this is a crazy story. Ok yes officers arrested her but they are also supposed to be our protection. And instead they just let her go into the night and all they have to say for that is she's an adult. Yes much more to this story and they should get sued. And yes I agree what is with Geoffrey's, kinda crazy if you ask me. I feel for the family, this has to be very frustrating and very scary for them. Adult or no adult it's their kid.

Latrice Sutton and Michael Richardson, we pray the Mitric is found soon, in good health, and happy spirits. From Your long time friends, Dave & Monica F.

This week the Sheriff's Department 1.) shot a man in the back and killed him as he ran away although he had no weapon, and 2.) arrested a 24-year-old woman because she had no money to pay for her meal, confiscated her car because it contained less than an ounce of marijuana, then released her to the streets on foot at 1:30 in the morning, then claims she was an adult when she goes missing.

This is a strange case, where the last people to have seen a person now missing were the County Sheriffs: the very people you may call in a missing persons report to; What's going on here? Did they not "remember" that they had just impounded her car, that she would be on foot on a dark night, with no money on her? I am plenty mad as it is: if she had been my wife or my daughter, you can bet that the Sheriffs Department would be dealing with one really p'd off hombre. Shame, Mr. Baca! Look into the behaivior and actions of the inhumane, insensitive jerks you preside over!

Missing.... God....in the middle of the night from the Police station???
The police already knew she had no money, impounded her car and why keep her and release her in the middle of the night without providing her a ride home. That's cold.

Her family must be frantic with her missing???

I went to highschool with Mitrice and I really hope she is okay, but it is now Sunday and this is just a reflection of the fallacies of "justice" system. Why not light up those desolate streets if they know they will release people at all times of the night...

You are in my prayers Mitrice...

Louis has a point about the restaurant finding another way to have dealt with the possible circumstamces of the incident, to be faor releasing the lady at the station is not exactly like being released at the central jail where an inmate being released with not much more than a bathrob sometimes with no money?

I would like to think that the young lady did not fall victim to foul play, and that being as how the last persons to see her were the Sheriffs them selves that were on duty are the same ones who are as mad as a hornets nest determined to find her!

This isn't news. I understand that the family filed a missing person's report so perhaps this will help them find her, but aside from that this is a non-event. She was released in a quiet suburban neighborhood after a misdemeanor. For anyone to insinuate that the police should have done something for her is foolish. Its up to her to call for a ride if she can't get her car back. I'm guessing he family will find that she stayed at the motel down the street out of embarrassment.

Typical.."It's not my fault" Sheriff department attitude.

Serve & Protect is something the Sheriff department (& police department for that matter) stopped doing many years ago!!!

The Sheriff had a responsibility to protect this women and make sure this women stayed safe.

The Deputy statement is just a quote from the Sheriff how to book...page 12, paragraph 2...Under the section that starts with "How to Cover Your Ass"

"It's not my fault...it must have been the NOT ME ghost"

Yep. I agree with Louis. This story stinks like rotting fish. I'd be curious to know the real back story to this one. (Why can't journalists ever get to the bottom of a story?) If it were my daughter, adult or not, I'd be raising holy Hell to get to the bottom of this load of stink.

The lack of accountability and responsibility is astounding. "She's an adult..." Pulleeze!

The parents need to get an attorney and sue, recently my granddaughter was arrested for a ticket she forgot to pay and went to the Sheriff's Lynwood station and we had to get her out before 10:00 p.m. because of the conditions of the neighborhood and no lights at that time of night. This is a policy in South Central Los Angeles then why wasn't it a policy in all stations?

I don't fault anyone other than the missing woman herself, she could have contacted someone to help pay for the meal rather than allowing it to go to a full arrest and even after the arrest she could have called family or friends to pick her up.
Let's go back to how she obviously did not go to the restaurant with anyone who might have been able to help her pay or could have simply waited for the woman to be released after booking. She also could have called during her detention at the Sheriff substation to arrange for a pick up or even to notify someone if they were waiting for her.
The Sheriff substation is NOT located in Malibu, it is actually over in Agoura/Calabasas area and I cannot believe how "louis" wants to twist this as if she was let out in the middle of Skid Row with a target on her. I read that the woman committed two offenses for which she was arrested, plain and simple. I don't see how Geoffrey's restaurant is at blame in any way whatsoever and call Louis out for that pathetic attempt to hurt a valued business that the local community supports and one that draws patrons from all over the world. Louis also portrays the Sheriff as some babysitting agency, with expectations that they provide her money, transportation and courtesy notifications to her family (which might be exactly what she was trying at all costs to avoid??). The article provides a clear statement by the Sheriff spokesman verifying that the woman was not intoxicated or stoned, and that she is an adult with no signs of mental instability or obvious illness.

It's a shame that the woman is missing, however, there isn't enough information to jump to conclusions that all the events leading up to her disappearance are the fault of anyone other than herself. A 24 year old adult woman with personal rights just like any other individual, I don't want to see any level of intervention that Louis seems to suggest should have been offered.

She is responsible for her own actions. If she is arrested & released it is her business where she goes and how she gets there. The Sheriff's Dept has no right (nor obligation) to hold her pending transportation.

Louis, you are out of your mind. She was a criminal. She broke the law and was arrested. She was released. She disappeared. Oh well. Sucks to be her. Quit pointing the finger and playing the blame game.

No, they said she exhibited no signs of being intoxicated, AND she is an adult.
Looks like no matter what the authorities do, they will be ostricized.
If they keep her, they will get sued by the ACLU, if they let her go they will get sued by someone else.
Nice to ASSUME she did not phone anyone.
And also, you beat on the restaurant?
Why don't YOU try running a restaurant and letting folks walk out the door without paying. You beat on the restaurant for calling the authorities, so when does it end? What if half the people walk out? Do you let them all go? How do you know what the circumstances were? YOU DON'T.

'Sue the Sheriff', yeah, that's what's wrong with america, SUE-HAPPY jackarses like you. Now, if she was a MINOR, it would be different, BUT SHE WAS AN ADULT, and apparently had enough money to BUY DOPE.

She has nobody to blame but herself, all of these things SHE could have avoided but she chose not to.

Blame everyone but the principal - that's the american way.


I agree with you on some points and not on others. I place no blame on Geoffrey's -- they (and almost any other restaurant in the country) would have let her try to contact someone if she couldn't pay her bill. It's my opinion that she just tried to walk out on the check. And they obviously followed her to her car to get the license number, or there was a sheriff's car nearby.

Now, as to the Sheriff's Department, I'm in total agreement. I don't live in SoCal anymore -- I moved to the MidWest in 1993 -- but I lived there for 39 years. I've been pulled over there a few times, and I'll take 15 tickets from the LAPD or local PD over 1 from a Sheriff. They are pompous butts (stronger language preferred, but I don't want this comment to get censored) and wear their egos on their badges. They had absolutely no right to release this woman in the middle of the night with no transportation set up. I haven't been to Agoura in a long time, but I kind of remember that the Sheriff station is off the 101 near Las Osas -- could be wrong, never been there.

She obviously either didn't have a cellphone (impounded with her car?) or the Sheriffs didn't allow her the old "one call" to ask for help. No amount of marijuana can incapacitate someone to the point of not asking for assistance in obtaining a ride. 1:30 in the morning? Ludicrous to the point of abuse of a person. I'm not saying this woman was an angel and wasn't high on something more than marijuana, but the Sheriff's Department had better be deploying every resource they have up in Agoura to find this woman.

But, in my experience, they aren't. They're probably having a Sunday beer, watching NFL on TV, and not even thinking about it. Sorry state of affairs, and yet another reason I left California.

KNX had some detailed information about Mitrice Richardson. This is a Cal State Fullerton grad, and her mother had called the sheriff's station to let them know that she was going to pick up her daughter. The family lives in Pomona.

Unsaid (this is completely my opinion) is that all of this happened because Matrice isn't white. How more likely is it that the restaurant manager overstated the gravity of the situation to the police? Maybe she paid with a credit card and the transaction was declined - there's screwy things that happen all the time, even if the card is good.

White me - I'd be asked nicely to come back with the cash. After all, I might be the daughter of someone important, and the restaurant manager wouldn't risk embarrassing a local family by overreacting and calling the police. Matrice is black, and she's from Pomona, so there's no reason for the restaurant employees to act responsibly and treat her with common sense and respect. Just call the cops when the credit card transaction is declined.

Same thing with the LASD. Matrice wasn't a local person, so screw her, let her walk home to Pomona in the middle of the night. It's not like she was - Mel Gibson.

The sheriff did the right thing. She is an adult and can make her own decisions. She was arrested at 8:00 p.m. and released at 1:00a.m., so she was sober. If you do not pay for what you owe you should go to jail, take some responsibility for once in your life.

To Rick Petitfils:

I hope your own daughter gets arrested for something, and is released at 1AM with no transpo set up. You are one callous individual with that comment, and another reason I left California for the MidWest -- people like you.

I feel that is was very wrong for the police to let her go without contacting her family first.Then they also let her go in the pitch dark..where anything could happen.i know their family personal,her mother is a christan women and love her kids very dearly..i just wish that mitrice would be found,and wherever she is that god will cover her and keep her safe..it will be very devasting if she was found somewhere dead..so i hope that she will be found..and the police shouldnt have allowed her to leave in the dark ...so i feel thats its the police fault ,if it was any body else they would have been found her their parents would have been contacted..on top of that she wa let with no car and phone to contact her family

mitrice we love you,and we are praying for u!!!!!!!

Everyone has made compelling arguments for both sides in this issue. However, when the Sheriffs go above and beyond their duties to drive drunk celebrities home, it definitely calls into question the issue of class, status, and race. Not everyone is treated the same. That is the problem. I dare say a drunk arse like Mel Gibson could make it home better than a young woman with no car in the middle of the night. So the issue here is that the Sheriff picks and chooses whom to protect. This incident does indeed stink like rotting fish.

She's 24. That is a grown human. Capable of ordering full meals, & paying for them. Apparently capable of finding pot, and buying that too. Does the sheriff now have to coddle idiots?

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