Mitrice Richardson Cause of Death: New Reward Offered As Mystery And Outrage Over Mitrice Richardson’s Death Endures
More than a decade has passed, and still, no one knows what happened to cause this tragedy.
On the night of September 17th, 2009, Mitrice Richardson disappeared. The Malibu-Lost Hills jail released the 24-year-old Cal State Fullerton alumnus at midnight. She was only carrying the clothes she was wearing. She was stranded far from home with no means of transportation.
Protests have been held, issues have been raised regarding police methods, and friends and family have been devastated by the situation.
Mitrice Richardson Cause of Death
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has raised the reward for information leading to the whereabouts of missing person Richardson to $20,000. Authorities are offering a reward in the hopes that it will lead to the identification and arrest of those responsible for her “suspicious abduction and terrible death.”
Mitrice, an employee at a Sante Fe Springs freight company, skipped out on the job on September 16, 2009. Her coworkers remarked that she always seemed so ecstatic. Afterward, she went to visit an aunt in Inglewood. Her Aunt wasn’t there. Several business cards and a message to her uncle reading, “Who is queen now, Mississippi?” were left on the porch.
She spent $65 total on a Kobe steak and an Ocean Breeze cocktail at Geoffrey’s, a Malibu restaurant, later that night.
The officials claim that Richardson did not pay her $89 restaurant bill. However, the workers said that it was because of her actions that they had to call the police. The serving staff at the restaurant claimed she was acting oddly and claimed she was from Mars.
Her mother, Latice Sutton, contacted the Malibu-Lost Hills sheriff’s station while a deputy drove her there. She told a deputy that if they were going to release her, she would come to collect her that night.
“I hate to wake up to a morning report of a girl lost somewhere with her head chopped off,” a recording of the conversation captured her telling the deputy.
From what we can tell, the deputy in question never informed the watch commander that her mother had offered to pick her up after receiving a phone call.
The sheriff who apprehended Richardson failed to mention anything unusual about her behavior in the report. The jailer would subsequently testify in court that she had no idea she had mental health problems. However, footage taken in the detention cell area showed Richardson acting suspiciously just before her release, pushing on the steel mesh walls.
Restaurant workers later claimed that sheriff’s deputies had pressured them into signing statements after Richardson vanished that excluded details about her strange conduct.
The deputy who made the arrest did not include information about her strange behavior in his incident report, but his supervisor did in an internal email to the former captain. At 12:15 a.m., a jailer informed Richardson that she may stay at the station voluntarily until dawn, but Richardson declined. She was released without her wallet or phone, both of which had been left in her car, after signing a promise to return to the Malibu courts on November 16, 2009. After her arrest, police seized her vehicle.
Richardson’s text messages and diaries eventually revealed that she had bipolar disorder and had been up for as long as five nights before her apparent breakdown. Her parents are adamant that she needed to be hospitalized for mental health reasons.
Richardson was last seen on a blurry security camera footage making her way out a back door. She was wearing a shirt, jeans, a brown hat, a pink belt, and Vans shoes.
That same night, a couple in Monte Nido said there was an intruder in their backyard. One resident who reported the incident to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department described the intruder as a “tall, slender Black woman with Afro hair, extremely skinny.” According to the investigation team, Richardson left the station on Agoura Road and made his way to Cold Canyon Road in Monte Nido via Malibu Canyon and Piuma roads.
Her vans were followed from the driveway out onto Cold Canyon Road heading east. There have been morning reports of her possible sighting along Malibu Canyon and Piuma roads.
After months of looking, Richardson has still not been found. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and LAPD detectives looked into a sighting report from Las Vegas. Then, on August 9 of that same year, state park rangers in a secluded section of Dark Canyon discovered a set of mummified human skeleton remains. The head and spine had become separated.
Just over three and a half kilometers away from the Monte Nido sighting.
Sunflowers were her daughter’s favorite flower, so in December 2010, Lattice Sutton planted some near the spot where Richardson’s body was discovered.
But things got worse when Sutton found something yellow in the dirt while she was trying to find closure. There was a bone in there, and it belonged to her daughter’s finger.
📖 On this day in history…
13 years ago in 2009 24-year-old #MitriceRichardson disappeared after she was arrested for not paying a restaurant bill and for possession of an itty bitty amount of weed. An amount of weed that wouldn’t even be illegal today in California. pic.twitter.com/u7ib6zu5We
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) September 17, 2022
According to a report by the county’s former Office of Independent Review, deputies at the Malibu-Lost Hills station did the right thing by letting Richardson go home voluntarily the night she was released. According to the investigation, “they had no legal grounds to deprive her of her freedom.”
The sheriff has not closed their probe into Richardson’s death. The office of the Los Angeles County coroner was unable to establish the cause of death. Over the years, detectives from the sheriff’s office have maintained that they have found no proof of murder. Members of her own family and circle of friends have always denied such claims.
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