FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas 213-280-6579
James Bolden 213-200-5314
SUPERVISOR RIDLEY-THOMAS CALLS FOR REPORT ON SHERIFF’S RELEASE PROCEDURES FOR PEOPLE WHO MAY POSE A RISK TO THEMSELVES
LOS ANGELES – Responding to concerns raised by the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today asked the Sheriff’s Department for a report on its procedures for releasing people from custody who may pose a risk to themselves.
His motion, approved by the Board of Supervisors, directs the department to report back in 30 days on its release policy, including procedures for releasing people after normal business hours who are alone or without a visible means of transportation, or who may have disabilities or impairments and may pose a risk to themselves.
Richardson, 24, has been missing since she was released before dawn on Sept. 17 from the sheriff's substation in Calabasas, where she was booked for allegedly failing to pay a bill at a Malibu restaurant. She had no transportation, cell phone or purse when she left the station at about 1:25 a.m.
With the exception of a couple of probable sightings later that morning, the slender, 5-foot-5 African American woman -- who was reportedly wearing jeans and a dark T-shirt -- has not been heard from since, her family says.
“I’m asking the Sheriff’s department to examine such procedures and report back on any way to improve such procedures to avoid similar incidents in the future,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.
Richardson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate and substitute teacher, was living with her great-grandmother in South Los Angeles. Her disappearance prompted an unsuccessful search by members of the Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and trained volunteers. The investigation is currently being conducted by the LAPD.
On a motion by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, the Board last week approved a $10,000 reward offer for information leading to her whereabouts and the criminal prosecution of persons involved in her disappearance.
The Supervisor urged anyone with information in this case to contact Det. Chuck Knolls or Det. Steven Eguichi at (213) 485-5381 or the LAPD’s Adult Missing Persons Unit at (877) 527-3247.
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