Mitrice Richardson Sighting in Las Vegas

I just got off the phone with Michael Richardson, Mitrice Richardson’s father.

He has just booked a one-way flight to Las Vegas which he paid for himself.

No, he wasn’t invited to tomorrow’s press conference in Las Vegas with the LA County Sheriff’s and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department regarding a possible sighting of his missing daughter Mitrice—but that’s not going to stop him from attending anyway.

What’s that you say? Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore does an awful lot of talking to the media and not to the family of Mitrice who has to find these things out in the news.  Well, yes I’d have to say I agree with that.

But, things have a way of working themselves out anyway.

I guess it’s a good thing my Mom works for the police department in Las Vegas—so let’s say that Michael will be well looked after while he’s in town and not given the runaround.  Kudos Mom.

So here’s the latest courtesy of Carla Hall and the Los Angeles Times…

Los Angeles law enforcement authorities believe that Mitrice Richardson, the woman who vanished after being released from a sheriff’s station in the early morning last September, may be alive and living in Las Vegas.

“It’s not definitive, it’s not absolute,” said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. But Los Angeles sheriff’s and police investigators plan to hold a press conference with local police officials in Las Vegas Thursday to announce they are looking for Richardson and to urge her to contact them, he said.

“Please let us know you’re OK,” Whitmore said of their message to Richardson. “You’re not in trouble. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are not the subject of a criminal investigation. You will not be arrested.”

Richardson’s father, Michael Richardson, said Wednesday that a Sheriff’s Department official told him recently the department had gathered information on 80 possible sightings of his daughter in Las Vegas. Whitmore would not confirm that number but he said, “They wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t believe they had credible information of her whereabouts. They want to prove or disprove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these sightings are indeed fact or indeed not fact.”

Richardson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate whose 25th birthday was three months ago, was arrested the evening of last Sept. 16 at Geoffrey’s restaurant in Malibu after she couldn’t pay her $89 dinner bill. Patrons and restaurant staff said she had been behaving bizarrely, but Sheriff’s Department staffers said she acted normally while in custody at the Lost Hills/Malibu station. She was released shortly after midnight but without her car — which had been impounded — or her purse and cellphone, which were in the car. There were three credible sightings of her later that morning in Malibu Canyon. But she never made contact with friends or family and no further trace of her was found. Los Angeles Police Department homicide investigators assigned to the case discovered a few months later that she was probably suffering from a severe bipolar mental disorder at the time of her arrest and disappearance.

Since then, Sheriff’s Department officials have been repeatedly criticized for not holding her for further medical evaluation and instead releasing her without a car or phone in the early morning darkness near the rugged terrain of Malibu Canyon. The department has steadfastly maintained that Richardson acted rationally in their custody. But its handling of the case has been investigated at the request of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Richardson’s parents have filed lawsuits claiming negligence.

Authorities conducted four searches across miles of Malibu Canyon — the last one in January was the largest ever conducted in the county for a missing person — without turning up a single clue.

According to Michael Richardson, a Sheriff’s Department official discussed with him the possibility that his daughter was working as a prostitute in Las Vegas. Richardson said it was possible she was under the influence of someone keeping her from contacting family and friends. Or that she may have simply shrugged off old connections on her own.

It’s also possible that the multiple sightings are not of Richardson but of a woman who resembles her.

“Absolutely possible,” Whitmore said. “They want to make it definitive.”

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Neal

    Thanks for the report–hope she’s safe…

  • Val

    Wow, I hope she’s found okay. I’ve been following Mitrice’s story since she vanished. I’m praying that it’s really her in Vegas and that she’s okay.

    Thanks so much Jasmyne for posting this.

  • Based on the totality of the circumstances, this is just a thwart by the LASD to cast reasonable doubt on the courts finding that Mitrice is “dead. Remember, if she is “alive,” then the basis for the lawsuit against the LASD is groundless and risks being thrown out under the law. The LASD is sneaky, why would they release a young woman who has exhibited signs of “acting crazy” early in the morning, with no money, without her purse, without her cell, and without her car? Just doesn’t add up. I am sure the LASD was and has been in on this one from the very beginning, the circumstances are just too suspicious. Even a first year law student knows this, the LASD were conceivably negligence by letting her go without placing her under a CA WIC 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold at the very least. Especially when you factor in that at the restaurant she was saying she was from “Mars” and there are verified reports by persons this at the time of her arrest. The Sheriff’s department even at first, initially, declared she was “acting crazy” in the police station and now they are recanting their story.

    All the accounts of the sightings of her in Vegas are unconfirmed and why did the authorities wait so late to release the so-called “sightings,” if any? Why’d they wait until after a lawsuit was filed against them? It goes back to casting reasonable doubt on whether or not Mitrice is dead to knock out the family’s lawsuit against them. Hell, I swore I’ve Elvis and Michael Jackson alive and well living in Vegas on my last trip there in 2010.

    So, Mitrice’s high school buddy claims to have seen her in a casino in Vegas and said “Hi,” but where is the video evidence of this? Everyone knows casinos have cameras everywhere. Odd that no cameras captured the so-called sighting on tape. No credibility, unconfirmed and it just another someone who “resembled” Mitrice. The family shouldn’t get their hopes up. Sometimes people see what they wish they could see, what they “think” they see or what they’ve seen in the past that no longer exists. All for whatever reason(s) or for no specific reason at all. I question the timing of the so-called sightings, hmmm, right when the LASD is facing a huge lawsuit?

    Bullshit, totally not credible at all.

    Btw, someone needs to question that LASD deputy seen leaving the station two mins. after Mitrice was released from jail. They need to question the deputy using a lie detector test also. Where specifically did he go and why did he time at the specific time at which he left? Did he follow Mitrice? If so, why, where? Anything else occur after that? Where any of his buddies in on this? Hire private investigators. The LASD definitely had something to do with this one. The circumstances are not business as usual and they’ve got a shitload of explaining to do. LASD knew she was “acting crazing” will there and the station’s video evidence is not being released? No psyche hold? Deputy follows Latrice out the station two minutes after she exits in the wee hours of the morning? No purse, no cell, no car keys, no money? LASDs never ever have been questioned about this? Did the Malibu LASD officers or at least one of them, release her under the circumstances with intent to do her physical harm or injury? This shit just doesn’t add up. I seriously believe they were in on the strange disappearance from jump. The focal point of investigation needs to be directed toward those deputies working during the time Mitrice was there, and further directed toward those officers who came into contact with her that date (following the chain from her arrest to her release).

    Good and bad come in every profession, even law enforcement. So, officers can and do commit heinous acts too, remember that, especially during wee hours when they believe no one’s watching them and they can get away. Query, who polices the police? Scary.

    Excuse my typos, just my free thoughts. This is not legal advice and no I am not a lawyer. Just a future lawyer and present third-year law student.