Mitrice Richardson's Death Still Unsolved, New Report Cites Communication Breakdown Among Officials
An official report form the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review issued today explores the failings in the handling of the death of Mitrice Richardson, a 24-year-old woman whose remains were found a year after she had been released from custody by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Lost Hills/Malibu station.The report points to a "breakdown of communication" between officials working the case, namely the sheriff's deputies and coroner's office, which " led to a continuing dispute over the handling of the skeletal remains," ultimately identified as being Richardson's, according to City News Service.
Richardson's bones were found in a remote canyon in August 2010, two miles from the sheriff's station. The young woman had been taken into custody after failing to pay a restaurant tab. She was released the following morning without her phone, purse, or a ride. She may have been manic and sleep-deprived when she was let go, however, a previously-issued report concludes the LASD were correct in how they released Richardson.
Last year, Richardson's parents ordered her body exhumed and launched a private investigation into their daughter's death.
Sheriff Lee Baca said he doesn't have a "complete explanation'' of the communications breakdown identified in the report, but acknowledged "I think in this case we have something to improve on.''
How Richardson died remains unknown, and there has been no evidence so far that indicates foul play.
"There's still no tangible evidence that we can find that relates to a blunt instrument or a bullet wound to the skull or any things that typically result in murder confirmation,'' said Baca. "So this is open.''