LAPD and LASD Plan Major Field Search This Saturday for Mitrice Richardson
• Joint Forces to Comb Large Expanse in Area Where Woman Went MIssing
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
The County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the City of Los Angeles Police Department will join forces for a major field search of the greater Lost Hills/Malibu Canyon area on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 9, for the Watts woman who disappeared after being released from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station on Sept. 17.
LAPD Detective Steven Eguchi told the Malibu Surfside News on Tuesday that representatives of the two agencies met last week to set the date and specifics for the search, which will include county search and rescue crews who took part in the massive effort undertaken two weeks after Mitrice Richardson went missing.
Richardson, who was preparing to begin substitute teaching and doctoral work in clinical psychology, mysteriously vanished after reportedly walking out of the Lost Hills station at 12:25 a.m. on Sept. 17, 40 miles from her home. She was alone, inadequately attired for cold weather, and without money, cell phone or means of transportation.
The 24-year-old had been booked on two misdemeanor counts after being placed under citizen’s arrest the evening of Sept. 16 by personnel at Geoffrey’s restaurant for not paying an $89.51 dinner tab. Her speech and behavior were described as “crazy” by people in the restaurant, but when she was taken to Lost Hills, sheriff’s personnel said she was lucid and they had no cause to detain her.
In November, writings found in the woman’s car, which was impounded at the time of her arrest, were interpreted by health professionals as documentation of up to a week of sleep deprivation and possible signs of serious mental illness.
Representative Maxine Waters, who is the Congress member for Richardson’s district, has asked the FBI to initiate an investigation into her disappearance and the circumstances of her arrest and subsequent handlingof her booking and release from LASD custody.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has not yet replied to Water’s request, so bureau personnel are currently not expected to take part in the upcoming search.
An online justice activist group—Change.org located at www.change.org—has collected 4439 signatures toward a goal of 5000 signatures on a petition urging federal investigation of Richardson’s disappearance.
Richardson is described on the LAPD blog as an “African-American with brown hair and hazel eyes. Five-feet-five to five-feet-six inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans.”
For more information, see www.findmitrice.info or contact Dr. Ronda Hampton at 951-660-8031, or LAPD Detectives Charles Knolls or Steven Eguchi at 213-486-6900.