REVEALED: L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies Moved Mitrice Richardson’s Body Against Coroner’s Orders

Some eight days after Michael Richardson appeared before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and implored them to conduct an independent investigation into his 24-year-old daughter’s death, and nearly a month after mourning friends and family members commemorated Mitrice Richardson’s disappearance on September 18, there has been a stunning, but not surprising new development. Anne Soble over at the Malibu Surfside News has published an article tonight indicating that Mitrice Richardson’s body was indeed moved from its original location in direct violation of the Los Angeles County Coroner‘s orders.

The Malibu Surfside News has learned from sources close to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station and the Mitrice Richardson case that members of the Lost Hills Search and Rescue team, at what may have been the direction of a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, allegedly removed the remains of Mitrice Richardson from their original location on Aug. 9, 2010, prior to the arrival of a crew from the Los Angeles Department of Coroner.

This would be a violation of California Government Code 27491.2(b), which states that a dead body “shall not be disturbed or moved from the position or place of death without permission of the coroner or the coroner’s appointed deputy. Any violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor.”

The county coroner’s office is on record as stating that law enforcement personnel cannot move a body or remains without the express authorization of the coroner’s office.

The News also learned that the decision to move the remains was allegedly made by the lead LASD homicide detective on the Richardson case, Michael Rosson. Rosson has not responded to an email from the newspaper requesting a response to the allegation.

These allegations were brought to The News‘ attention because of purported concern that they will ultimately become public, and when they do, they could provide ammunition for those who contend that Lost Hills personnel were involved in Richardson’s death.

Department of Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter would not comment on the allegations, except to confirm that if such action occurred, it would be illegal, and could raise serious issues in terms of the investigation of a case. He said the reason that is the law is because such action could seriously compromise evidence and preclude thorough analysis.

Read the whole article.

Remember how Latice Sutton, Mitrice’s mother, was not informed for days of her daughter’s body being found up in the hills? Those who were involved in the cover-up could have been using that interval to were buy time.

Recall that Sheriff Baca never came up with a plausible explanation as to why his office delayed informing her parents of the details of how the body was found? Even the L.A. media was raking him over the coals about that.

Remember how the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Lee “by the book” Baca has repeated lied and covered up after these deputies to the point of sending Captain Tom Martin, the man who hid Mitrice’s booking tapes, to another station and promoting him? Martin even received a special medal from the Malibu city council.

Recall that the lead homicide investigator in this case, Detective Michael Rosson, was present when the booking tape was run for Latice Sutton and three of her close friends, and that he questioned Latice’s reasons for her suspicions and refused to identify the deputy who followed after Mitrice after she left the station that fateful night. In fact, he’s questioned nearly everything that she has suggested to him and the Sheriff’s Department over what happened.

Remember that “independent” investigation exonerated the Sheriff’s Department saying that the deputies did everything right and proper in Mitrice’s case from her arrest to her being released not long after her body was found? This too smelled to everyone like another cover-up, especially when it was found that the investigator, Michael Gennaco, was too sympathetic to the cops?


[Latice] Sutton agrees with contentions voiced by a number of residents in the unincorporated area of Malibu Canyon, where Richardson’s remains were found and where she was last seen alive, that individuals involved in the pornography industry and marijuana farms in that area might have information about Richardson’s death.

The mother frequently refers to the pornographic and misogynistic mural that was painted on a culvert wall not far from where the remains were found. Most observers agree that at least two people with different art styles undertook that project, and it might contain clues to what happened to her daughter.

This is the mural, which has since been painted over. Warning, this image is quite graphic and racist.


This is the mural that Latice Sutton refers to which may or may not provide clues to the fate of her daughter, Mitrice Richardson (Courtesy: Malibu Surfside News)


This was part of the accompanying story, dated June 9, 2010.

The culvert wall in this redacted photograph was covered with racist and sexually explicit graffiti of African-American women wearing a hairstyle similar to that of Mitrice Richardson when she went missing on Sept. 17, 2009. Paintbrushes found at the scene (inset) had not yet dried, a possible indication that the mural may have been painted immediately before last weekend’s search. The resemblance to Richardson and the subject matter have greatly upset family members who are concerned that the mural may be connected in some way to the woman’s disappearance. The graffiti was completely painted over this week.

Dr. Ronda Hampton, Mitrice’s mentor, describes and analyzes the mural in this You Tube video. The mural is obscured to hide the black woman’s body parts.

This case needs the Los Angeles FBI now. Or a special prosecutor. Bit by bit, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is losing more and more credibility regarding their handling of this case. They have lied, covered-up, moved bodies and hid evidence.

What is it going to take for these people–Baca, Rosson, Martin, Cummings, etc., et al.–to be charged with either committing and aiding and abetting the crime of murder?

~ by blksista on October 13, 2010.

3 Responses to “REVEALED: L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies Moved Mitrice Richardson’s Body Against Coroner’s Orders”

  1. sista, what can we do?? i’m a mom who lives in malibu and one of mitrice’s relatives gave me a flyer on the street a few days after she went missing. this has seemed really fishy the minute i heard and it just becomes more and more horrifying! racist mural??! how do we push for justice here??


    • Stay informed, for one.

      Whenever the parents, Latice or Michael, have a meeting or a vigil or appear at such, be there. Meet them and stand with them. Write to the Los Angeles FBI or the Justice Department at what you feel is a miscarriage of justice.

      Or in your case, get up a group of like women and men who feel just the same as you do and do your own version of guerrilla theatre. Picket. Inform your Malibu community that you are there. Be there at the city council that gave a police captain an award even though he is one of those suspected of the disappearance and cover-up! You’re not the only one who feels this way about these men and women hijacking the reputation of the community. Run a few ads in the Surfside News saying that you’d like to bring people together to talk about this issue.

      You have power. Use it.


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