Mitrice Richardson’s Mother Files Second Lawsuit Against LA County

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The mother of Mitrice Richardson, whose body was found nearly a year after being released from custody, has filed a second lawsuit against Los Angeles County alleging deputies improperly removed her daughter’s remains from the discovery site.

Latice Sutton is asking for unspecified damages, alleging negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The 24-year-old Cal State Fullerton student’s skeletal remains were found Aug. 9, 2010 after she went missing in September of 2009. Richardson was found during a search for illegal marijuana farms.

The complaint claims coroner’s staffers told deputies not to disturb the remains after Richardson’s body was found.

“Despite these orders, the sheriff’s deputies improperly removed the remains of Ms. Richardson from the discovery site,” the suit alleges.

Three months later, Sheriff Lee Baca and a team of deputies led Sutton and some of her family to the site where they said Richardson’s body was found. A member of Sutton’s family found a small human bone left on the ground by either the sheriff’s deputies who discovered the remains or the coroner.

Sutton claims that, based on her communications with the coroner’s office, she later realized that the site Baca and his deputies took her to was not the same one from where her daughter’s remains were actually excavated.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to comment on the lawsuit.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • citizen

    Can you cover up by the sheriff.

    • Saber 1

      If she was a little slow, why did her parents let her go out alone? Her family should take some blame also.

  • citizen

    I mean can you say cover up

  • Move on already!

    Can you say,
    Cash cow?

    This is a sad story for both the family and the public, but this is not anyones fault but Ms. Richardsons. The FBI found no wrong doing by the LA County Sheriff’s Dept and closed there investigation. Case closed, no wrong doing by LE…..
    Mother, drop it and move on. This might have been a better outcome if you had been there for your adult child. Not, key word ADULT!

    Move on!

    • Sue Happy

      @ Move on already! – I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU!

    • ig'nant

      You’re an idiot.

  • fran

    I am sick of this lady’s actions in regard to her daughter whom she practically disowned when her daughter informed her that she was gay. Her comment to the deputies when they called to say she was in the jail was, good, maybe that will teach her a lesson. “Latice” needs to take some responsibility and refrain from projecting her guilt onto law enforcement for Mitrice’s death. She would not make a mere 70 mile drive to pick her up? Great Mom!

    • SHELLbell

      Nothing wrong with teaching a lesson.Thats what parentings about, she did wrong so her mom wanted her to soak it in and realize what she did. Im sure had she known that her child would die that night she would have came ASAP instead of wait in until the AM.

      She did say she wanted to teach her a lesson,but its stated in the review she also made it known that if they had intentions on releasing Mitrice that night, that she would come and get her right then, (you seemed to have conveniently left that part out) . The station lied and said they would hold her,(which is why her mom decided to wait until the morn) but they didnt! Thats just not right.

    • Sue Happy

      Amen, fran!

  • Karen

    I feel very sorry that Mitrice is dead. But whose fault is it?

    Had she not tried to steal a meal from a restaurant, she never would have been arrested in the first place.

    And I’ll bet that she insisted she be released without her phone, etc.

    I am very sad that she died but it’s her fault it happened.

    • SHELLbell

      IM Sure everyone in jail insists on being released! That doesnt mean you actually release them. Especially in a situation like this. And her phone was still locked in her car.Which was impounded. Once they searched her, and when they gave back her belongings in the end, they knew she had no cell phone. Which would mean no means of communication to ANYONE once she stepped out of jail.

      So they knew she had no car, no money, and no phone to even call anyone, yet they felt the smartest thing to do was let her go @ 1am?

      Its her fault she got arrested. Its their fault she died. Better judgement should have been used and she shouldnt have been released until her mom came in the AM as planned. Even if her mom didnt come , a 7am release makes much more sense then a 1am release.

    • Sue Happy

      Amen, Karen!

  • Marco

    This is a sad story. If Mitrice had mental issues than I can see and understand the misunderstanding at the restaurant.

    But I agree with the other posters who state that the mother has to assume her own responsibility in this. Why is she trying to act so concerned about her daughter and when she was alive, she had disowned her.

    Dont project your guilt on officials, or law enforcement when you had the opportunity to prevent this whole situation.

  • pboovey

    This is sad! The relationship between mother and daughter is irrelevant. What is important is this: If Mitrice was acting “Bizarre” enough for patrons of the restaturant to notice and for police to arrest her, why then would the answer be to release her into the wilderness in the middle of the night versus placing her on a 72-hour psychiatric hold? Better yet, why not release her in the daytime?

    • duh

      because if you detain her too long , they will file a lawsuit for that. welcome to america.

  • Anthonyd Smith

    I’m beginning to believe that there is a serial killer in the sheriff’s department. Why else would we have so many unsolved homicides that even the best detectives can’t figure out. Anybody ever seen Dexter?

    • Sue Happy

      @ Anthonyd Smith – Dexter is a FICTIONAL tv show. I realize some people confuse reality with fantasy, so I’ll give you that benefit of the doubt with your nonsensical comment.

      • get real

        hahaha @sue happy

  • Sue Happy

    If this was really about avenging her daughter’s death then this (these) lawsuit would’ve been filed two years ago. Clearly, this is strictly about MONEY.

  • uFools

    We don’t know the family. We weren’t there that night. Deal with the facts and stop speculating. Lessons were learned. Unfortunately a beautiful woman, regardless of sexual orientation, lost her life. If it were me and my adult child, I would move mountains to ensure safe return of my son/daughter from police custody from the STICKS now matter the time or weather conditions

  • uFools

    Mother, you should move-on and blame no one but yourself

  • gladys night

    Why can’t we see the video tape from the sheriff’s station?
    Why can’t we have access to audio and digital transmissioin sent from and recieved by the sheriff patrol cars in the field??
    Why can’t we get a straight answer on why thgree deputies were at the arrest site?
    Why can’t we get a straight answer about in which car and with which deputy(s)
    Mitrice departred Geoffrey’s and in which car and with whom did she arrive at the sheriff’s station?
    Why can’t we get a straight answer about what time the patrol car with Mitrice left and what time it arrived at the station and what route was taken?
    Why cant we get a straight answer about what time Mitrice was released-which has ranged from reports of “1:35pm – 1:45pm” in the initial reports of her disappearance and has gradually been whitled down over months of searching until the remains were found and the release time had become “shortly after midnight”.
    What happened to 90 minutes of time that the Sheriff’s had Mitrice Richardson in their sole possession?
    They had her for 2 to 4 hours max and 90 minutes is gone!
    Erased, vanished , missing?
    They are hiding 90 minutes..
    Find the 90 minutes and then we will know the truth.

  • gladys night

    correction; the initial reporting of Mitrice Richardson’s disappearance gave the time of her release from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation as
    “1:35am – 1:45am”.
    After 11 months of agonizing searching her remains were found and identifiedand the sheriff stated she had been released “shortly after midnight”.
    It took eleven months and they succeeded in losing ninety minutes they had Mitrice.
    Find the 90 minutes and you will find your answers.

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