L.A. Times: Frustration grows as search for missing woman continues

50223787

Johnny Cole, left, and Michael Richardson, father of the missing Mitrice Richardson, distribute leaflets at 87th Street and Western Avenue on Sunday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / November 1, 2009)

Family and friends of Mitrice Richardson, who disappeared Sept. 17, pass out fliers in South L.A. Her father says, ‘I’m at a breaking point.’

In the month and a half since 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson left a sheriff’s station near Malibu Canyon, her family and friends have passed out fliers, canvassed colleges and flagged down motorists. “Have you seen this woman?” they ask, holding up a photo of the Cal State Fullerton graduate.

On Sunday, the group gathered in South Los Angeles, where Richardson lived with her great-grandmother, to once again hand out leaflets with her picture. Among them was the missing woman’s father, Michael Richardson, 42, who is now pressing authorities to release security footage from the night Richardson was taken into custody, believing it will prove that she was in no state to be discharged.

“I’m at a breaking point,” he said.

Mitrice Richardson vanished after leaving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills station Sept. 17 on foot with no purse or cellphone. She had been released shortly after midnight after being arrested on suspicion of failing to pay for her meal at Geoffrey’s Malibu and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Witnesses said Richardson behaved strangely that night, telling people she was from Mars.

Since then, several sightings have been reported, but none has panned out, LAPD Det. Steven Eguchi said last week, adding that no evidence of foul play had been found.

Tessa Moon, 25, who has dated Richardson for two years, said she believes her girlfriend is alive and scared. “If I could tell her anything right now, it would be ‘Don’t be afraid. We’re coming,’ ” she said.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Richardson’s whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to call (213) 485-2531.

L.A. Times

The Court of Public Opinion