Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters seeks FBI probe of missing South L.A. woman

December 22, 2009 |  2:24 pm

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) has asked the FBI to look into the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson and the circumstances of her arrest and release from sheriff’s custody.

Richardson, who lives in the South L.A. area represented by Waters, was arrested by L.A. County Sheriff's deputies in September for not paying her dinner bill at a Malibu restaurant. She was released from custody in the early hours of Sept. 17 and vanished.

“Based on reports I have read, there are questions as to whether the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station acted properly in releasing this young woman during the predawn hours without money or transportation, all while she was suffering from what the Los Angeles Police Department’s doctors have concluded to be bipolar disorder,” Waters wrote in a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.

Waters sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the FBI.

“Constituents from across my district are calling for a federal investigation and have inundated my Los Angeles office with phone calls, letters and faxes,” Waters wrote.

She added that she believed the FBI’s involvement was warranted, noting that the agency was responsible for investigating “cases implicating federal criminal or civil rights statutes.”

Two LAPD detectives have been investigating the disappearance of the 24-year old Cal State Fullerton graduate since the early fall. The sheriff’s department last week assigned two of its detectives and a lieutenant to the case.

-- Carla Hall