Missing Woman: Dad Believes She is Being Held Against Her Will

By Ted Chen
|  Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009  |  Updated 5:04 AM PDT
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Missing Woman: Dad Believes She is Being Held Against Her Will

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The father of a woman missing since Friday believes his daughter is being held against her will.

Michael Richardson says he's been conducting his own investigation into the disappearance of his daughter Mitrice, 24. He says her friends told him she's been acting strangely ever since she met a female friend who's been supplying Mitrice with marijuana. Richardson says he's trying to track that friend down in an effort to locate his daughter.

Richardson continues to blame the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for releasing his daughter after sheriff's deputies affested her Thursday night.

Witnesses said Richardson was drunk and unable to pay her $89 bill at Geoffrey's restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu about 10 p.m. Thursday, according to her parents.

Richardson was taken by deputies to the Malibu-Lost Hills station and booked on suspicion of not paying for the meal and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times. The marijuana was allegedly found in her white 1990 Honda Civic, which was impounded.

Richardson was released about 1:25 a.m. Friday because "she exhibited no signs of mental illness or intoxication. She was fine. She's an adult,'' Whitmore said.

Whitmore said the jailer offered to let Richardson stay through the night, but she declined.

According to her mother, Latice Sutton, a manager she spoke to at Geoffrey's said Richardson appeared to be in "no condition to drive'' while at the restaurant.

Whitmore says if Richardson had been intoxicated at the restaurant, deputies would have arrested her for public intoxication, which they did not do.

Sutton said she called the Malibu-Lost Hills station to ask about posting bail and picking up her daughter, but deputies told her they had released her because they did not have room to keep her in jail.

The sheriff's station is on a frontage road to the Ventura (101) Freeway, in a business park that is unfamiliar to the woman, her family said. It is not served by buses at night, and family members say the woman has not contacted the family or been seen by them since.

The woman's father, Michael Richardson, said he was worried about his daughter's mental state after seeing her booking photo.
"She looked like a demon had come inside her. That was not my daughter,'' he said. "It ran chills up my spine. I've never seen my daughter look like that.''

"They allowed her to walk out of that facility and down that road in the pitch black night,'' he told The Times. "That's not right. Now, I just want to find my child.''

Whitmore says deputies at the Lost Hills station asked Mitrice if she wanted to stay the night and she declined. Whitmore says she also signed a document indicating she was not drunk.

The woman's mother said deputies told her nearby residents had called to say a woman was sleeping on porches, indicating to her that Richardson was stumbling around a nearby residential neighborhood early Friday. Her parents filed a missing person report with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Richardson is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and recently moved to Los Angeles to live with her grandmother near the area where she planned on teaching. She last made contact with her family at her home in the Southeast area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, police said.

Richardson is black, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. She has brown, curly hair and hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, police said.

According to a flyer made by her family, Richardson has tattoos on her lower abdomen and behind her neck.

Police urged anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (213) 485-5381, or (877) LAPD-24-7 after business hours or on weekends.

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