Mitrice Richardson case re-established 12 years later

Richardson went missing in September 2009, 11 months later, her remains were found in a remote canyon

After more than a decade, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in December to re-establish a $10,000 reward in the disappearance and death of Mitrice Richardson.

The 24-year-old Cal State Fullerton graduate was arrested for not paying her $89 bill at Geoffrey’s restaurant in Malibu on Sept. 16, 2009.

Richardson went missing after being released from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station around midnight without her car, purse, or cellphone. 11 months later, her remains were found in a remote canyon, about six and a half miles from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

The Malibu Times has written multiple stories and follow-ups in regards to her disappearance; to this day, her death remains unresolved. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department classified her cause of death as “undetermined.” 

On Sept. 29, 2009, the Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 reward offer. This reward was extended on Dec. 15, 2009, and expired on Jun. 26, 2010. It was re-established on Jul. 13, 2010, and expired on Oct. 11, 2010. 

On Dec. 22, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to re-establish that reward. Supervisor Holly Mitchell sponsored the motion.

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“I, therefore, move that the Board of Supervisors re-establish the offer of a reward in the amount of $10,000 in exchange for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the suspicious disappearance and death of Mitrice Richardson,” the release statement says. 

“For me, I remember clearly the case of Mitrice and really thought it was important to acknowledge the fact that she was failed perhaps by multiple systems,” Mitchell said. “She was a woman who needed to be protected, and that didn’t happen.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says the case remains open but without any new leads.

Last September, in an interview with The Malibu Times, Richardson’s mother, Latice Sutton, said her daughter was in the process of applying to graduate school for an advanced degree in psychology. Richardson would have been 36.

“She believed it was important for everyone to get an education,” her mother said. “Mitrice was a loving spirit. She was a joy to be around. To not have her is very painful, to say the least. We are missing having her around.”

“I want people to remember the positive aspects of Mitrice,” Sutton added. “Remember her kindness, her love, her advocacy.”

To read the full statement, visit http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/164554.pdf.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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