Supervisors Renew Mitrice Richardson Reward

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A copy of People Magazine containing a story about missing Los Angeles girl Mitrice Richardson after her family filed a claim as a prelude to a possible lawsuit against the Los Angeles County in Los Angeles on March 16, 2010.

The Board of Supervisors today renewed a $10,000 reward for information leading to Mitrice Richardson, who has been missing since September when she suffered a mental breakdown, was arrested in Malibu and then released after midnight.

Richardson was released Sept. 17 from the sheriff's Malibu-Lost Hills Station in Calabasas about 1 a.m. without transportation, a cell phone or her purse. The 24-year-old was arrested when she was unable to pay her $89 bill at Geoffrey's, a Malibu restaurant. Deputies also found some marijuana in her car
and impounded it.

Restaurant staffers told investigators Richardson was behaving bizarrely and speaking gibberish. Los Angeles Police Department investigators have said they have found evidence in Richardson's diaries and text messages that she was suffering from bipolar disorder and may have been awake for as many as five nights when she had what appeared to be a mental breakdown on Sept. 16.

Her mother, Latice Sutton, contended that authorities should have recognized her daughter's erratic behavior as abnormal and given her a mental health evaluation. Sutton hired attorney Leo Terrell to sue the county and the sheriff's department. The suit, filed June 29, alleged wrongful death, though there is no proof that Richardson is dead.

Deputies said the Cal State Fullerton graduate passed a sobriety test before she walked off from the station in the 27000 block of Agoura Road.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore has said he cannot comment on the suit, but that the agency looks forward to telling its side of the story in court.

Neighbors reported seeing a woman who may have been Richardson sleeping on a porch later that morning, but she was gone by the time deputies arrived. Sheriff's deputies and volunteers mounted extensive air and ground searches, but Richardson has not been seen since. Whitmore said deputies were continuing to work with the LAPD to try to find her.

The Cal State Fullerton graduate's father, Michael Richardson, held a raffle Sunday to raise money to hire a private investigator, apparently unsatisfied with the LAPD's official investigation.

The county's reward for information as to Richardson's whereabouts expired June 26, but will now be in force until at least Oct. 11.

Authorities asked anyone with more information to call LAPD detectives at (213) 486-6900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (213) 486-6900      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (213) 486-6900      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or sheriff's detectives at (323) 890-5500.

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