Please help find Mitrice Richardson

[Updates in comments.]

Hello all.

I’m breaking with ordinary LD subject matter, such as it is, to run a public service announcement on behalf of someone dear to an LD reader. And we are nothing if not a community of compassionate people.  I’m going to post the note she wrote me yesterday in its entirety, along with the most recent (if otherwise uncharacteristic) image of the missing woman (at right):

I wanted to let you know about a young woman who has been missing here in the Los Angeles area for over 2 weeks now and there has been little to no media coverage. According to her family she is bi-polar. Yet she graduated Cal State Fullerton with a 4.0.

She started acting odd and ended up being arrested in Malibu for not being able to pay her bill at an upscale restaurant (her mother said she had $2,000 in the bank and that the grandmother offered to pay it over the phone, the restaurant refused and had her arrested) the police searched her car found less than an ounce of Marijuana and arrested her for defrauding an innkeeper and the marijuana. Impounded her car. She had no purse no money and no cell phone.

They took her about 20 miles away to the Lost Hills sheriffs office and then released her at 1:15am, pitch black out, about a mile from a shopping center, down dark windy roads with no money no car no cell phone.

Her mother had called and been assured that she would call when she was ready to be released. She didn’t and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

I came across her Myspace and she had written a blog entitled “Why I’m a lesbian”. This story is killing me. My partner has bipolar, is just 2 years older than this beautiful young woman is, and but for the grace of god goes she? And the media isn’t interested.

I don’t know what to do to help get this story out except to email you and see if maybe you would feature her story on your blog. Thanks for listening and peace to you and yours.

For further information or to connect to someone with a tip, please visit That site includes this synopsis:

Mitrice Richardson, age 24, went missing after she was released from the Malibu police station at about 1 a.m. Thursday September 17th.

She suffers from mental health issues and was released into the remote Malibu canyon area without a car, I.D,  phone, money or assistance.

Mitrice is an upstanding citizen and student and deserves better treatment than what the Malibu sheriff’s gave. This did not have to happen.

Mitrice is a CAL STATE FULLERTON graduate with a 4.0 GPA and is set to begin a doctoral program.

Below is some more coverage on her case. If you live in Southern California or know someone who does, please please pass this on.

11 thoughts on “Please help find Mitrice Richardson”

  1. I passed this along via facebook to my very few So Cal friends. I hope you will update when she is found.
    What a beautiful woman, I’m worried for her.

    • Thank you so much. If you’re on Twitter, or know anyone there (or any other social media: there must be gobs more?), please ask friends to link to the info and pass it on. I mean, computer screens won’t find or notice her. But a person who’s seen something on it might.

      Many are many worried, and hopefully we can help be among those getting her face and story out there.

    • An update from Jill, the reader who brought this to my attention in the first place:

      Hi there,
      Quick update here. The police had found a burned body in a dumpster and everyone had feared it was Mitrice but it was not. (I feel horrible for whoever the person is though and for their family) and thanks to some recent publicity (I am not sure where because the major news media isn’t really covering this) there were a flurry of tips into the police this morning that they are following up. And they have announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to finding her:

    • Thank you.

      This is very much a “this could be any of us” story, and a “it’s not utterly random that it happened to one among us.” The naked, plain truth is that it’s very hard to imagine the police releasing a young white woman, disoriented and without money, phone, or ID, into the middle of the night. I don’t know the staff at the station last night, or what was afoot when the decision was made to release her. But when American history does not offer up several centuries of keen devaluation of Black women’s bodies and well-being, then I’ll stop jumping to this suspicion.

  2. Unfortunatly I dont know anyone in California I can send this to. As the rest of the media isn’t reporting can you keep us up to date with any developments?

  3. Every year for the last 5 I’ve ridden a century bike ride (100 miles in a day) devoted to raising funds for posters of missing children, and raising awareness. Some of the missing we specifically ride for are adults too. Over and over I think, I can’t imagine the pain of this for friends and family. Have tweeted. Hope it helps.

  4. I’ve seen a few news stories about her disappearance on my internet provider’s home page. I hadn’t heard about the reward money, though. I hope this will encourage anybody who knows or has heard something to come forward. Sadly, that’s what it takes sometimes.
    I’m hoping for the best.

  5. Here are more recent stories on her:

    “Detectives Believe Woman Missing for 3 Weeks is Alive,”, October 8, 2009.

    “Search Widens as Mitrice Richardson’s Whereabouts Are Still a Mystery,” Malibu Surfside News, October 15, 2009.


    Family friends are now tracking a sighting of a woman matching Richardson’s description who was recently seen on a Greyhound bus leaving San Jose.

    This from an LA Times local piece from October 8th: “Woman who went missing in Malibu Canyon ‘is out there'”

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