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Authorities to search for missing woman in Malibu [Updated]

September 24, 2009 | 11:54 am

Los Angeles police and county sheriff's rescue crews plan Saturday to search the Malibu area, where a 24-year-old woman was last seen Sept. 17 after being released from jail.

Mitrice Richardson of Los Angeles has been missing since she was released at 1:25 a.m. from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Malibu/Lost Hills substation in Calabasas. She had been arrested for allegedly failing to pay an $89.21 bill at Geoffrey's Malibu restaurant and for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Police will search the mostly rural area on foot with the aid of canine and horse-mounted units. The heightened land search follows one Sept. 19 that led police to a backyard patio in Malibu, where Richardson was reportedly last seen.

When the residents of a home near Las Virgenes and Piuma roads, just east of Malibu Creek State Park, found Richardson on the patio, she told them she was resting and left when they went to call authorities, said LAPD Det. Chuck Knolls, who is overseeing the case.

[Updated at 12:05 p.m. Friday: A previous version of this post misidentified Piuma Road as Pluma Road.]

"In our opinion, at this point, it is a missing person," Knolls said. "We don't see any criminal activity."

Richardson's parents have criticized the Sheriff's Department for releasing her without knowing whether she was intoxicated or had a ride.

But Knolls said Richardson made two phone calls from the station and was asked if she wanted to wait in the lobby until someone picked her up. Richardson, who did not appear impaired, declined the offer and left, he said.

"She's an adult," Knolls said, echoing statements made by Whitmore after her disappearance.

-- Raja Abdulrahim