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Episode 78

What Happened to Mitrice Richardson?

November 30, 2020   Tags: ,
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Billy and Paul look into the mysterious death of Mitrice Richardson. Mitrice was behaving erratically when she was arrested on September 16, 2009 in Malibu, California. She was released on her own in the middle of the night with no car, phone, or money. Family and friends searched for nearly 11 months. Once Mitrice's remains were located, more questions came to the surface and still haven't been answered.  

The Disappearance of Mitrice Richardson:
At some point in the Fall of 2009, 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson's world began to crumble. She and her girlfriend Tess broke up. Her bi-polar disorder no longer seemed to be under control. The outgoing and responsible young woman was now sending strange text messages and posting bizarre social media posts. 

She texted a friend about being a part of the universe and nature. To her mother on September 16th, Mitrice texted “watch the news today, it’s going to shock the hell out of you.” On Facebook she posted, “I just wanna sleep lol, but u know me and my crazy ideas...lets see where they take me.”

As the day went on no one could reach Mitrice.

Mitrice decided to drive 40 miles from South Los Angeles to Malibu. She pulled into the high end restaurant Geoffrey’s on the Pacific Coast Highway around 7 PM. The valet took her car and parked it. When he got back to the valet stand, Mitrice was inside his car, going through his glove box. 

He asked her if she was okay and to get out of his car. She did and entered the restaurant. Once inside, she ordered a cocktail and a steak. While waiting for her order, Mitrice sat down at a full table with a party of seven already dining. According to patrons and staff, she seemed “off.” In LA Magazine they described her as “eccentric,” at one point claiming she was from Mars.

The table she sat down with didn’t ask her to leave though. The diners left and Mitrice was presented with her bill that totaled $89. She couldn’t pay. She called her grandmother who offered to pay for the meal. But at the time the restaurant needed a faxed signature, and Mitrice’s grandmother didn’t have a fax. With no else to call, the restaurant called the sheriff’s department. 

Upon arrival, the sheriffs administered a breathalyzer thinking Mitrice may have been on drugs or drunk. But she passed the test. Mitrice was arrested and charged with defrauding an innkeeper and possession of marijuana after they found less than an ounce inside her car.

The deputies also impounded Mitrice’s car. Inside the car they left her purse, phone, identification and ATM card. Mitrice’s mother called the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station to ask about picking her daughter up. She was told Mitrice wouldn't be released until the morning. Shortly after the phone call, Mitrice was free to leave with none of her belongings. 

The Search:
The sheriffs transferred the missing person case to the LAPD. Both departments promised a full search with helicopters and dogs throughout the mountains. But it took three days before the “search” was launched. And it was a much smaller search than Mitrice’s family had been led to believe. It consisted of only four officers. 

The family continued to search on their own. And also frequently called the sheriffs trying to obtain more information about Mitrice’s state of mind and where she could have gone when she left the station. 

Her family continued to hold out hope throughout the coming months even with no sign of Mitrice. Despite a reward being offered for any information on where Mitrice could be no lead brought answers. 

Then on August 9, 2010, a park ranger was patrolling part of Dark Canyon. He was out to look into an illegal marijiana grow in the area. The area was 8 miles from the Lost Hills Station and hard to access. There were no trails, it was steep with overgrowth and jagged rocks. While making his way through the overgrowth he came across a human skull. The park ranger called the sheriffs. 

Around 3 PM, they arrived on scene and a helicopter took them down to the scene. By protocols they were supposed to treat it as a crime scene and gather evidence. Also, only the coroner’s office is supposed to remove remains from the scene. But the coroners were never taken down to the scene. 

Aside from the skull, a partially mummified body was located away from where the skull was located. Downstream from the remains were a pink belt, black bra and blue jeans. Items that were noted to have been worn by Mitrice when she disappeared.

The coroner’s report reflected the frustration of not being brought to the scene. But in the report they detailed the way the scene was handled, noting “they placed the remains on a plastic sheet, then put them into a body bag and onto a rescue basket which was lifted into an LASD-air helicopter. 

It was of note that the skull was separated from the body. But the lack of procedure as well as the state of the remains left little for the coroner to go on. The body was skeletonized with dried mummified skin on the bones. And because of the gathering of the remains by detectives instead of the coroner, some bones were missing.




ASSIGNMENT:
In the family’s quest to discover what happened to Mitrice, the case has been reviewed multiple times. Once by the state attorney general and by the sheriff's office. The problem with these reviews is they aren’t going off new information. They are just reviewing the case file, which isn’t much to go on. 

Currently Mitrice Richardson's case is a death investigation, not a homicide. Murder Squad, we need you to get loud. This case doesn’t need to be reviewed; it needs a full investigation. If you have any information about what happened to Mitrice Richarson, please contact us.   

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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