LOS ANGELES - Ten years went by fast. We all covered the mysterious disappearance of a 24-year-old West Covina woman named Mitrice Richardson.
Arrested by Sheriff's deputies in Malibu for not paying an $83-dollar restaurant bill, transported across the canyon to Agoura Hills and the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. Released alone, no money, no phone, no car, no nothing at 12:30 a.m. Family said she had mental health issues and was behaving in a bizarre way.
Sheriff's say they never saw it and never evaluated her. Disappeared into the night. Nude remains found almost a year later with no obvious signs of foul play. The Coroner officially classified the cause of death as ''undetermined.''
Lawsuits, allegations of negligence, cover-up, allegations of indifference followed aimed at the Sheriff's Department, which they deny. Here we are 10 years later. Friends sponsor an emotional prayer ceremony and press conference right at the same Sheriff's station with the new Sheriff Alex Villanueva, participating.
It's much the same story. She's dead, no one knows why. No one from the Sheriff's Department admits doing anything wrong though now an individual has the right to stay until morning rather than be shown the door in the middle of the night. He expresses compassion while saying, in essence, no one in his Department noticed anything wrong with Mitrice that night, nor did ''busy deputies'' have a lot of time to investigate.
Her parents sued and won money, multiple investigations including one by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris didn't find any criminal liabililty on behalf of the Sheriff's Department.
So family and friends, frustrated then, are frustrated now. If anyone comes forward with new info, the reward still out there. The Sheriff's Department says they'll be all over it. Until then, it's still an 'open' case.