By A.J. Llewellyn
On September 16, Mitrece Richardson, a 24 year old college grad went to dinner at Geoffrey's restaurant in Malibu. By all accounts, she seemed...high on drugs, perhaps even drunk. She inserted herself into a couple of conversations and made inappropriate remarks, but for the most part people just thought she was kooky.
The restaurant manager thought she was a little more than that when she couldn't pay her hefty $89 tab. Mitrice asked him to call her grandma who swiftly offered to pay her bill but the restaurant refused to take the card over the phone without a signature. The elderly lady had no fax machine to send them her signature and called her daughter, Mitrece's mom...but by then, Mitrece was in jail.
She was released in the middle of the night - 12.25 a.m. - a long, long way from home, at the desolate Lost Hills Sheriff's station. I drove to the station last night in preparation of this blog and let me tell you, it's dark and frightening. There are few street lights and very few places to go for help. Lost Hills is aptly named. It is mountain country...scary critter country...perhaps even, scary people country.
Apart from a brief sighting outside somebody's home, Mitrece has not been since since September 16.
This story has haunted me, not just because of the grim events, which spiraled out of control into one gruesome mess, but because frankly of the lack of coverage.
I am a secret Nancy Grace junkie. Nancy loves missing women but she has not addressed thie disappearance of Mitrece Richardson. A few local LA newspapers and TV stations kept up coverage up to about a week ago.
The last thing I read was on September 30, when Mitrece's heart-broken dad offered an astonishing reward, his 1966 Chevy Impala, worth $20,000 to whomever can find and deliver him his missing daughter.
The LA County Board of Supervisors has also approved a $10,000 reward for information leading to Mitrece's recovery...but could all of this been avoided?
There's no question she should have paid her bill.
There has been information coming in parts and pieces that Mitrece is bipolar and exhibited signs of mental instability by telling the valet driver at Geoffrey's that she was from Mars.
I don't understand how the police released an attractive young woman in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere with no money, no keys, no car, no phone and no transportation, and I am trying not to think her poor handling by the sheriff's station is because she is black.
I do think the lack of news coverage has everything to do with her skin color. Sorry, but I do. If she were a pretty blonde, Nancy Grace would be all over this story.
Where is Mitrece?
I was ready to point fingers at the cops until a friend's daughter recently went to the police here in North Hollywood after her boyfriend beat her up. She filed a report and an officer offered to drive her home. Home! To her abuser!
She declined the ride and called her mom, telling her she was going to walk home. None of this made sense to me when her mom called me in hysterics.I intervened. I called the police and they seemed surprised when I jumped all over them.
"We offered to take her home and she refused," the officer told me on the phone.
Why in the world do cops, who arguably, aren't mental health professionals, but geez Louise, why listen to somebody who is clearly in no shape to make rational decisions?
I asked how on earth they could allow her to leave on her own to face a man who'd just attacked her. He told me they offered to take her home, that they would walk her to the door. If the boyfriend, for whom they'd been searching, was there, they'd make sure things were okay.
Well, she went home with the cops and the boyfriend was contrite...yeah, until he slugs her the next time.
I think about all this and think the cops showed poor judgment in releasing Mitrece to the wilderness. She hadn't been in their custody long (about two hours) and although they claim she seemed fine, she clearly and very obviously was not.
There is a chain of faulty links here, starting with Geoffreys, which should have accepted the credit card payment and called the cops to see this troubled young woman home safely, not to the poky and an uncertain fate.
My hope and prayer is that Mitrece is okay. I hope that eight days of media silence won't stretch into weeks and months of...nothing.
If YOU have information on Mitrece Richardson, please call LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-485-5381.
A search of the Malibu Canyon's hidden hills has revealed nothing. She has vanished. The longer she is gone, the worse it looks. In reading all I have about Mitrece, my heart breaks for her and her family. She is a thoughtful, well-educated young lady who's clearly in trouble.
Somebody, somewhere must know something.