On my post last week during “This Week in the News“, I lightly touched on the Mitrice Richardson situation. I posted a link to the CNN story that confirmed the skull and bones found in Malibu did belong to the 25 year old graduate student. In keeping strong with the 31 Day Blogging for Branding challenge, today’s post will be my response to the situation revolving around her disappearance. I could talk about Alvin Greene getting arrested, Philip Markoff committing suicide, the disappearance of overdraft fees, or the arrest of alleged serial killer Elias Abuelazam, but I will discuss the facts and share my opinion of the untimely death of this former beauty queen.
Mitrice had been arrested on September 16 of last year after not paying an $89 dinner bill at a Malibu restaurant. The manager had her arrested and police took her into custody and had her car towed. I won’t get into too many details, but a little after midnight, the police decided to release her from custody, even after her mother, Latice Sutton, told authorities that if they released her daughter, she would come pick her up. Ms. Sutton also let authorities know that her daughter suffered from mental issues and that she may not be in her right mind. Ms. Sutton did not learn of her daughter’s release until 5:30 am, at which time she filed a missing person’s report. It took almost a year to find this girl, even though just a few weeks ago a former classmate claimed he saw her in Las Vegas. Micheal Richardson, Mitrice’s father, is claiming negligence on behalf of police personnel, saying he heard about his daughter’s death via the press conference. (Coroner officials did call him and left a message, which is standard procedure.) Mitrice’s body was found approximately 2.5 miles from her last known credible sighting.
So many questions pop into my head. First, if her body was less than 3 miles from the police station, why did it take 11 months to locate her body? I’m no forensics expert, but it seems to me the area surrounding her last known whereabouts should have been searched thoroughly. Second, why wasn’t her mother notified of her release immediately as she requested? Yes, it is illegal to hold someone against their will if they are not being arrested, but her mother asked she be called if her daughter were released, and she would come pick Mitrice up. Her car had been impounded and her phone was in her car, so how was she going to get home? Third, why did the national public JUST hear about this last month? Whenever “certain” people go missing, the national media is notified almost immediately. Lastly, isn’t it a little tacky that the press conference went on as scheduled even though not everyone in her immediate family may not have known about her death? If foul play was involved, I hope her murderer is found quickly. The ending to this story was very bittersweet, and I hope that she gets the justice she deserves.
Have any of you heard about Mitrice Richardson before this post? If so, how did you get the information? For those of you well versed in the law, what am I missing? Should her mother have been notified, or did she have a right to go about as she pleased? I personally feel like this story has a lot of holes. And I hope someone can fill these holes quickly. Do you know of any other stories of people who have gone missing but the national media has paid little attention? If so, I ask that you use this platform to share. It’s about time we start speaking up for those who are done wrong. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.