Mitrice is Not Found
(This is the first part of an interview with Latice Sutton, Mitrice Richardson’s mother, published yesterday. The second part of her interview is here.)
One of the most extensive searches in the history of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department turned up no evidence of Mitrice Richardson, the young woman who has been missing since leaving the Malibu sheriff’s station Sept. 17.
The fourth fruitless search of the Malibu area left police and sheriff’s investigators mystified and family members clinging to hope that she is still alive.
“The beautiful thing about today is that they didn’t find a cadaver,” said Michael Richardson, 42, the father of the missing woman.
Searchers found no evidence of a crime scene either, “so this is still a missing person investigation,” said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
“We’ll analyze what search and rescue did, brainstorm and see where we go next,” L.A. Police Det. Chuck Knolls said. He and Det. Steven Eguchi, who have been investigating Richardson’s disappearance full time since September, were recently joined in the task by several Sheriff’s Department investigators.
This time the search covered more ground. Over three hundred trained volunteers fanned out over 18 square miles as far north as the Mulholland Highway and south to the ocean. There were mounted posses. Divers searched the plunge pool in Rindge Dam for remains. The searchers came from various counties surrounding Los Angeles, like Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County and Santa Barbara.
Though Detective Knolls said that it was a “good sign” that no bones were found or evidence of the commission of a crime, he admitted that the Malibu wilderness is not an easy area to search. Knolls said that he told Richardson’s family, “We didn’t look under every bush and every rock because you can’t do it. We wanted to make sure they understood that. They wanted us to definitively say she’s not out there. We can’t say that.”
It did take several weeks for the cops to find Diahann Carroll’s young husband, but this is too much for anyone to consider, much less her parents, Michael and Latice.
It took luck to even find the bones of that risk-taking flying millionaire, Steve Fossett, who died when his plane crashed on some hilltop near Madera, CA, in Inyo National Forest. The authorities could not find the wreckage after searching some 20,000 square miles. And he had been gone a year. Some hiker happened upon the remains.