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Search for Mitrice Richardson shifts to downtown, skid row

March 29, 2010 |  7:57 am

Mitrice Richardson

The search for Mitrice Richardson, who vanished last September from outside the Malibu sheriff's station, has shifted to downtown Los Angeles.

On Sunday, several church members joined a group of volunteers to search in the skid row area.

Chip Croft, an independent video producer who helped to coordinate Sunday's event, said there have been several credible sightings of Richardson downtown. With numerous homeless shelters, single-room occupancy hotels and social service centers, skid row is a place where someone like Richardson, who is thought to have had no money and may have been suffering from emotional problems, might end up, Croft said.

"We just hope that she's safe; we don't want to think anything more than that," added Rhonda Minter, another church volunteer. "We just hope that someone is watching over her."

Richardson, 24, a Cal State Fullerton graduate, vanished after being released from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station after midnight on Sept. 17, 2009. She had no car, no purse and no cellphone. She had been arrested at a Malibu restaurant for not paying a dinner bill and was reported by staff to have been acting strangely. Authorities have searched the rugged hills and canyons of Malibu several times without finding a trace of her.

-- Carla Rivera

Photo: Volunteer Althea Anderson, left, talks to a man who identified himself as Ray Ray on 6th Street in downtown L.A. Anderson and other volunteers were handing our fliers with images of Mitrice Richardson, who has been missing for about six months. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times