Search for Mitrice Richardson Brings No New Developments–Family Says It’s Time for the FBI To Get Involved

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Malibu, CA – Over 300 volunteers, mostly law enforcement personnel, showed up in Malibu Jan. 9  to assist in a joint search between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department for 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson. Mitrice, who has been missing for 115 days, was arrested for not paying an $89 dinner bill at Geoffrey’s restaurant in Malibu. She was released from custody at 12:30 a.m. on September 17, 2009 without her car from the sheriff’s Malibu-Lost Hills Station.

The search, kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with more than 300 volunteers on foot, horseback and all-terrain vehicles. 100 search dogs were brought in to assist with the efforts as well a helicopter which was used to transport volunteers into the steep Malibu Canyon terrain. The volunteers, who were mostly law enforcement personnel, came from as far as Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Orange Counties.

Neither Sheriff Lee Baca nor newly appointed LAPD Chief Charlie Beck were present for today’s search efforts, which is being described as among the largest ever conducted by the department. There were no elected officials or local community activists on hand.

Both of Mitrice’s parents, Latice Sutton and Michael Richardson, were there for the search and thanked volunteers for coming out and assisting in the efforts to find their daughter.

Sheriff Lee Baca, who on December 14 opened a homicide investigation into the disappearance Mitrice, assured the family earlier this week if today’s search efforts didn’t uncover any new leads that he’d personally get the FBI involved, something the family has been pushing for over the past several months.

“We need the FBI to get involved,” commented Michael Richardson, Mitrice’s father.  “We don’t need anymore lip service and empty promises.  It’s 2010, my daughter went missing in September of 2009.  Vanished–like that into thin air.  We need the FBI to get involved at this point.  What more is it going to take to make my daughter’s disappearance important enough to merit attention from the FBI?

Last month after weeks of public pleas for help, Congresswoman Maxine Waters sent a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller to look into the disappearance of Mitrice and the circumstances of her arrest and release from sheriff’s custody. Richardson lives in Watts, an represented by Waters. Waters sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the FBI.

To date, neither Congresswoman Waters nor the FBI have been in touch with the Mitrice’s family.

The search concluded at approximately 5:30 p.m. with nothing new being discovered. At the debriefing, the family was told by LASD Lt. Paul Becker that it would be about a week before an official recap of today’s search efforts would be available.

Mitrice Richardson will be missing for four months on January 14, 2010.

For more information, please visit

If you have any information regarding Mitrice, please call LAPD Robbery and Homicide Detectives (213) 486-6900.

Media Coverage


About Mitrice Richardson

Missing From: Malibu, CA
Date Missing: 9/16/2009
Age: 24
Sex: Female
Height: 5’ 5”
Weight: 125 lbs.
Race: Black
Tattoos: Lower abdomen, Chinese looking symbol on back of neck, wording Tessa and paw prints on stomach

The Court of Public Opinion

  • G.Hayden

    It genuinely pains me that this has gone on so long and still the media has decided that this woman was not important enough for national exposure beccause she wasn’t white. What other conclusion can one make? Look at the example of Lacy Petersen to name a few. Look at how little attention Soshan Johnson got as opposed to Jessica Whatever-her-name-was. I am not a conspiracy theorist nor do I play the (non-existant) face card but what is a logically thinking person supposedly conclude. I hope and pray that the family an those who knew and loved Mitrice get an answer one way or the other soon. This life was very important indeed!

  • Robert

    I hope nothing bad has befallen that beautiful young lady, but I fear the worse. It is unusual that the Federal Bureau of Instigation has not gotten involved many moons ago. Too many female and male slavery groups shanghi people and taking them overseas as slaves in foreign lands. When the Black Panthers and Guardian Angels were around our neighborhoods were protected. But the Black politicos and the white politicos did want us protected. They wanted to keep us in fear in order to keep us depended on them. But now our hoods are havens for nomads that travel in and out and cause destruction and death. Please if any one knows the where abouts of this young lady please help the parents. I will go down in prayer for her that the Lord will reveal her whereabouts and that she is found safe.

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  • Darmaris Gray

    Where is Nancy Grace? Where is Larry King? Where is Oprah Winfrey? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are the leaders of Our communtities? When it was about Jon Bonet Ramsey, there was a national outcry. We as a people need to do something!!!!!!


    I am a big fan of Nancy Grace and she does cover all sorts of stories, it confused me why she didn’t take an interest in this one and drag it in the mud lick she did Casey Anthony. Jane Valez Mitchel has picked up the story it was on last night, hopefully Nancy will too.