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New sightings reported of Mitrice Richardson, woman missing from Malibu sheriff's station

Family members and community activists said there have been new sightings of Mitrice Richardson, who disappeared last month from outside the Mailbu sheriff's station.

According to Richardson's family, people said they saw the woman on Manchester Avenue and Denker Street, Manchester and Western avenues and Florence and Western avenues.

But none of the witnesses called the Los Angeles Police Department, which is searching for Richardson.

By all accounts, the Cal State Fullerton graduate who was living in South L.A. was responsible, employed and working on a way to pay for graduate school. Detectives, family and friends believe her disappearance is probably related to a psychological problem that revealed itself the night of Sept. 16 when Richardson went to Geoffrey's restaurant in Malibu, told people she was from Mars and began spouting gibberish.

Detectives interviewed a group of Geoffrey's diners she joined uninvited -- who described her as odd but entertaining -- and her colleagues at the Mercantile Freight office in Santa Fe Springs who last saw her at work the day of her arrest. LAPD Det. Steven Eguchi said they told him that she was "giddy, really giggly. Out of the ordinary."

Richardson's odd behavior -- as well as her failure to pay for a steak and a drink -- prompted restaurant staff members to call sheriff's deputies. Richardson was arrested, then released at 1:25 a.m., having no car, purse or cellphone.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department has since come under fire for not holding her for a psychological evaluation. The Los Angeles Police Department is now handling the matter as a missing-person case, assigning it to the robbery-homicide division, which has greater resources.

Authorities said they believe Richardson is still alive -- but they don't know where.

-- Shelby Grad

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Comments () | Archives (31)

the ol psych problem that revealed itself the night she disappeared trick is it? if the young lady revealed a psych problem at the jail then why pray tell was she not refered for a 72 hour evaluation under the health and safety code?
Y a know its kind of a long walk from the Malibu staion to where they say she has been seen of late?

I don't feel the family has been entirely forthcoming with who Matrice really is and what they know is really going on here.

I saw her myspace and facebook pages that show a much sexier, party girl who does promotion for a lesbian club in Long Beach.

Her parents focus on her academia and that she is "not street smart." Her friends on myspace don't seem to be overly concerned or very concerned at all that she is missing.

I found a random article that quoted her father saying some of these things about her lifestyle but that was only one article and not what is being put out to the media.

How does someone just have one night of random mental instability -- I think there is more that is not being told and if the public is being asked to help I think the family needs to be honest.

It is not in the least bit strange that someone would have an overnight breakdown in this city. And for people to bemoan this girls lifestyle is really troubling. God forbid someone should pull apart your life and expose it to you, perhaps you'd think again about questioning the validity of the family's claims.

The mentally ill deserve to treated with respect, not looked at with a suspicious eye, and kept at the end of a stick in case they may have engaged in what you deem unruly behavior. This is person in deep need of help, and whether or not her irresponsible friends want to lend a hand is irrelevant.

I hope she gets the help she needs.

If I had said i'm from mars and smoke gibberish in front of Law Enforcement officers I would definitely be under a 72 hr hold!

What difference does it matter what kind of person she is in front or behind closed doors, a young woman was released from custody in the dark of night, while dealing with obvious mental issues, rather it be genetic or under the influence in an area she was not familiar with, by law enforcement.

Its not about her personal relationships, its about how law enforcement handled this matter, which in my opinion shows poor judgment.

Well for crying out loud, find her already.

Could you please post her photo with these stories? It might help someone to recognize and find her.

Not concerned about the specifics of her situation - we don't need to know more we just need to call authorities if we think we see Mitrice. Don't care either to parcel blame for a psych hold or not - let's just find her. Hey LA Times, it would be a good community service if each time you run an update you also post Mitrice's picture with the article/blog entry.

I agree with Missus Pam's comment. I also saw Mitrice's myspace. It is filled with lots of things that surely put a big question mark as to the safety and legitimacy of her behavior. From the myspace and related myspaces, she appears either to use drugs or to glorify drug use, she poses in skimpy outfits, and meets people via the internet.

My guess is that she is probably with one of the women that she met over the internet. Either that, or the woman she was supposed to "marry" got jealous about her falling in love and planning a trip with a different woman she met on myspace. This gal is most likely not wandering around in a stupor someplace -- she was probably picked up in a car by one of her lovers.

I think this is less a case of police neglect and more a case of parents unable to deal with the reality of their daughter's lifestyle.

Also, people ask why police would not do a 5150 on her. First of all, there are so many completely whacked-out crazies in the LA area that, in comparison, talking about being from Mars is nothing. Second, it sounded as if her mother or someone was going to pick her up, so the police would not want to interfere with that. Third, Mitrice might have been having some mental problem, but it does not sound like she posed any danger to herself or others. Fourth, a 5150 does not get a person any sort of help, it just holds them for a few days.

Fifth, for all anyone knows, Mitrice might have walked off and been picked up elsewhere on a 5150, since the records on those DO NOT appear, not even in police records. It is considered confidential. She could have been picked up and held or even admitted to a mental hospital and those records are confidential and the parents and police are not going to know about it.

At least she didn't "go missing." Anyone who stayed awake through high school English should know that it is rhetorically impossible to “go missing.”

Yet this phrase has crept into common usage in writing and in the media. But like “snuck,” which I was taught is the illegitimate past tense of “sneak,” it is still incorrect. Either you are missing or you are not missing. You don't "go missing."

Protect and Serve? Whom?
Releasing someone at 1:25a.m. w/o transportation options? What city services are operating at that hour for someone to take advantage of? Nevermind safety. Sounds more like Malibu police were exacerbating a problem. She's gone and disappeared now, surprise! And from right outside the sheriff's station. Class act!

Why no photo of her? What happened to the media helping to find a missing person by putting up her photo and physical description. C'mon guys get a clue.

The police can't place just anyone with mental illness on a 72 hour hold. The subject must present a clear danger to herself or others, such as talking about suicide or running into traffic. Holding someone just for talking gibberish would be a civil rights violation. Likewise, once she was released from custody for her criminal charge, the police cannot force her to wait for a ride, nor are they obligated to drive her anywhere. She has the legal right to come and go as she pleases. The police are required to operate within the law and they did nothing wrong.

I hope she is found unharmed and safe, some of these comments as straight rediculious.

Very insightful Richard, I'm sure the Richardson family is taking notes. Correct grammar is incredibly important at a time when one's daughter is missing.

you would think a picture would be posted with this story, to help the public recognize her.

One thing that I haven't seen, and I could have missed it, is how was she released? I would imagine the sheriff's station has a lobby or at least a waiting area in which she could sit? It's been made to sounds as if she was dropped off in the middle of the woods, to find her way back to civilization. If she left relative safety, do what degree do we want to blame law enforcement? Of course, I realize that some the police responsible for all society's ills, but I think this needs more facts.

As far as a 72-hour evaluation, one has to be gravely disabled, and a danger to themselves or others. If one is behaving daffy or strange, absent the danger, there's no grounds for a hold. And as people have posted before, if they had held her, there'd be a separate article claiming racism in placing that hold.

Hope she turns up okay.

To Missus Pam & My Thoughts,
Get a life. Stop looking at this poor girls "myspace". Loosers. She happens to be an intelligent and beautiful girl. And if she we're in the hospital-the cops would know-stupid. I hope either of you don't have children of your own.

No one has ever tried to make this young lady out to be innocent. Her dad has always admitted in each interview he knew his daughter, and that he could talk to him as a homie are a dad, but never could he not talk to her. Certain people are so quick to judge. Let me help you understand, just because a woman dress up and look sexy, no still means no. However, some lowdown creatures have to resort to drugs in a drink (revlon) to get a woman. She maintain her lifestyle and kept it in it's proper perspective. How many people you know that since you want to judge her myspace page, can do what she does on Myspace and still maintain a Job and finish school. Who cares what her preference is. Conclusion, based on the Title X and Title XXII of the Officers Handbook, they messed up royally. Read and understand the facts prior to judging. As for as her friends, we all hang around people everyday, that get on our nerves. She was no doubted hated on, because the girl is "Fine"

How about doing the obvious? Put her picture on billboards throughout the Los Angeles area with an award offer for whoever provides information that leads to her return. This case is going on and on with little more than assorted people saying "Oh yes, I saw her..."

If there are those who truly want to locate this young lady, they need to put their money where their mouth is.

why didn't the sheriffs just call the family and let them know they have their daughter in custody. why would you put a woman out on the streets that time of a.m.? No I.D., Nothing; they say she said she was from mars! where are the sheriffs from Pluto. they just don't care......they're suppose to protect and served, they didn't do their job and they show know mercy on this woman behalf..if she was so out of it they should have retain her? they let her go, why didn"t"t they take her back to her car? why didn't they take her home. 'this is scary...

All of these speculative comments about she's probably out there doing this or that or concerns about her life style are beside the point. She needs to be found and united with her family ASAP!

@Missus Pam...I am a very dear friend if Mitrice and just because she doesnt have all of her friends leaving comments on her Myspace page doesnt mean we dont lover her. Also, because you are looking at her pictures and think they might be a little unconventional for your liking, please do not judge her on what she has done. The picture that her parents are portraying to the media is exactly what she is, Mitrice is very responsible, was very well educated and heading in the right direction. So because she knew how to have fun she is this radical lesbian you claim her to be? If you do not know her, PLEASE don't judge her...

Folks, no one is "judging" Mitrice. It is just that when a woman meets people on the internet and makes plans to meet up with them, as Mitrice had just done, then the woman is most likely with those people.

She may be intelligent, but planning trips with people you know only from the internet usually leads to trouble. It does no good for family and friends to keep denying reality that this is what she was doing.

I agree with Missus Pam & My Thoughts because of the parents aggressive, finger-pointing conduct in interviews (with an obnoxious civil rights lawyer) blaming the LAPD & Geoffrey's for not treating their daughter as special and above the law, since she was black and had a BA degree. Wow, I guess she should have been given a free meal and taxi service by the LAPD. Now we are seeing Mitrice was not the perfect innocent angel the family portrayed to get media attention. They had no right to behave they way they did. No sympathy here...

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