L.A. County Sheriff’s Respond to Allegations Surrounding Mitrice Richardson’s Disapperance

It’s been almost a week to the day since 24 year old Mitrice Richardson disappeared after being arrested and booked at the Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department when she failed to pay her bill at a nearby restaurant and was found to have weed in her possession.

There’s been some media coverage around her disappearance, a lot of it unflattering to the L.A. County Sheriff’s for their alleged role in her disappearance.

Today, I received the following emails from the sheriff’s department with their side of the story as to what happened while Mitrice was in their custody.

Hi Jasmyne,

I saw you had this story on your blog. I just wanted to update you on what happened with this incident. The female jailer spent a long time trying to convince Mitrice Richardson to stay at the station, offering her a bunk secluded from all of the inmates, telling her she was free to leave at anytime. She told her it was better that she stay until the morning and the jailer even offered to give her breakfast. This was after the jailer allowed her to make multiple telephone calls to get someone to pick her up, to no avail.

I know the family is distraught and rightfully so, but the deputies and jailer are not the villains in this situation. In addition, Lost Hills Station actually took the missing report, as a courtesy report for LAPD, which is something else the media has reported in error on this story.


I know you have been hearing a great deal of negative publicity about the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson. Most of the news stories have focused on her release from custody at 0030 hours last Thursday. Please know that your Sheriff’s Station personnel acted appropriately and legally during the entire event. Our deputies compassionately tried to find someone to pay Mitrice’s bill at Geoffrey’s in an attempt to avoid an arrest. When that didn’t happen, she was placed under a citizens arrest by the management and brought to the station for booking. While at the station, she was allowed to use the phone to call someone to pick her up. When she was unable to find a ride home, she was afforded the opportunity to remain in our custody until morning and leave at her convenience. She declined. Our lobby was open for her use all night, but she did not avail herself of that safe haven. Once she was processed and found to have no wants or warrants we could no longer legally detain Mitrice for the two pending misdemeanor charges.

Ms. Richardson was checked for intoxication by both the field deputies and our station jailer. To our knowledge she had one drink during 2 – 3 hours at Geoffrey’s. No one found her to be intoxicated at any juncture of the incident. Based on our personal observations Ms. Richardson did not display a diminished capacity which would have precluded her release.

I have thoroughly examined this incident and found my personnel to have acted professionally, compassionately and within the law. The fact that Mitrice resides in L.A. City dictates that they handle the missing persons investigation. We continue our efforts to assist LAPD in every way we can to locate Mitrice.

We all continue to pray that Mitrice will be found safe and sound.

Captain Thomas G. Martin

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Chris

    Somehow, I just don’t believe that they offered her a bunk, breakfast, or any sort of safe haven. I have NEVER heard of that type of compassion from the authorities. Maybe that is wrong to think, but they have wronged so many people, they have given themselves this reputation. I am praying for Mitrice’s safe return soon!

  • JeanLynn

    I have no doubt that the Sheriff’s Office acted within the letter of the law. It is truly amazing what the law allows, and the way the Sheriffs Department treat people they have arrested. Once arrested you become a “bad” person, a sort of subhuman, that deserves no respect, and no normal form of usual courtesy. It has nothing to do with race, it is just “bad” people versus good people. Letting people out in the middle of the night without money, identification, a car, or cell phone is just common practice. If she had been taken downtown she would have been released in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. “To protect and to serve” is only for good people, unfortunately, Mitrice was arrested which ment that all of the good she had done in her life including her education, was for nothing.

  • Glenda Mitchell

    I think it goes back to the owner of the restaurant. He is the root of this problem. His statement said that when she came in his resturant she seemed under the influence. So my question to him is why would you serve her Liquor and Beer and she was already not in her right mind? Isn’t that againts the law? So you gave her enough with a steak dinner to come up to $89.00 Then you have the nerve to not accept a credit card payment over the phone. It had to be faxed. Unreasonable. So you call the police for all the things that you should not have done to have her arrested.

    Now to the poice department. There is a picture being painted her and it it very clear that you guys were trying to destroy this young lady. Why did you tow her car? She was not driving she was in a restaurant. What were you searching her car for? Oh i forgot you are the Police you can do whatever you want. Now she is still missing. There has been no dogs to try to pick her up. It’s over a week later and you are still trying to say it is not your fault. News Flash It is al your fault. Starting with the owner of that resturant. The problem is huge. My question is when do we get into the solution. Your guys need to get a man hunt going. Please

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  • Thanks Jasmyne for looking into this. So many lies are being told. First Matrice was drunk and acting strange and then she wasn’t. First she was told to leave the police station then she was offered a bench in the lobby of the police station and finally she was offered a cot in a cell.

    So many lies. The Feds really need to get involved in this and fast.

  • This is a strange one and I don’t know what to believe. On one hand she had been acting odd, so there is no telling what she did when she left. I know that stretch of road and the police had no business letting her out at that time of night without a ride. There again back in the day when the LA womens county jail was located in on City Terrace in South LA, women were released at all hours of the night and if memory serves me right there were a spate of rapes. The rapist turned out to be someone who worked within the jail. Like Hidden Hills the walk from the jail to the main road wasn’t something any woman should attempt at night.

    I hope they find Matrice safe and well.

    Any thing is possible.

  • Vickie Epps

    My heart is bleeding that the police would let a women out in the middle of the night to walk were? DID one of them found her attractive and wonted to have her?

  • Nicole

    I unfortunately am a morbid thinker, and that combined with the knowledge that corruption is everywhere, the feeling that even within the walls of police stations are the evilest of hearts make me unable to shake the feeling that someone there knows more. I don’t even know if it’s about race, but a woman in unfamiliar terrain she was and sometimes there are those who think they can take advantage of that vulnerability and get away with it. How is it that witnesses state that she appeared intoxicated, yet officers claim she exhibited no signs of inebriation. They say they allowed her to leave, are there any surveillance cameras outside the station that can support that claim. They arrested her and then decided to release her just like that, citing overcrowding, when people familiar with that station say that is unlikely. Do they have records to support that overcrowding claim? I am hoping for the best but in cases like these, with so much time gone by, happy endings are rare. I just feel like the fact that they are the police does not preclude them from evidencing all that they have said.

  • Concerned

    If she made telephone calls from the police station there should be a record of those calls. Who did she call or was she really allowed to make any calls? I hope she is ok and my prayers go out to her family who is hurting over their missing family member.