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

October 26, 2009 |  7:35 am

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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