LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles County Supervisors have voted to pay nearly $1 million Tuesday to settle the wrongful death lawsuit of Mitrice Richardson, but the deal still needs to be finalized.

The 24-year-old woman may have been manic when she disappeared following her nighttime release from the Lost Hills/Malibu sheriff’s station. Her body was found nearly a year later in the Malibu backcountry.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a $900,000 settlement in a closed-door meeting Aug. 16, subject to all parties signing a final agreement, according to county counsel Roger Grabo.

“The settlement is not final,” Grabo said, declining to say more.

Richardson was arrested at the Malibu restaurant Geoffrey’s, on the evening of Sept. 16, 2009, for failing to pay her bill and was released early the next day without her car, telephone or purse.

Richardson’s decomposing body was found in Malibu Canyon the following August. A coroner’s investigator criticized deputies for moving Richardson’s remains when they were first found. The investigator said she later found a finger bone at the site, and authorities recovered eight more bones in February.

Her parents filed separate wrongful death lawsuits that were later consolidated. They contended deputies should not have released their daughter into the night, given her mental state.

The young woman may have been manic at the time of her arrest. A diary recovered from her car, which had been seized because deputies found some marijuana in it, suggested that she may have gone without sleep for as many as five days before her arrest.

In July, Richardson’s parents exhumed her body and hired a private pathologist to investigate. Attorneys for the Richardsons were unavailable for immediate comment.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (21)
  1. will ashton says:

    Hopefully the settlement is more than 900 thousand; cops and political leaders are truly worthless.

    1. Mike says:

      Hopefully anything above 900 thousand comes out of your bank account, or your paycheck. Oh wait, you’re on welfare, you’re safe, you won’t have to pay anything. Will, you’re truely a P.O.S.

  2. Mike says:

    That family of useless SLUGS don’t deserve a dime of taxpayer money. Their daughter disappeared because of their stupididy. They could have pick her up, but they refused. if the Sheriff’s Dept would have kept her longer, they would have cried and said, ” they didn’t release on time because she’s black.” Your daughter is dead because of you, get over it, and stop trying to get money from the taxpayers of L.A. County.

    1. ginny says:

      Mike while I would have chosen a few less harsh words, I totally agree with you about the family not picking her up. In early news reports they did report that the mother talked to the Sherrif and she chose not to pickup her daughter at the station. Mistake #1 goes to the family. Anything that happened after that really, IMO, falls on the parents. If my daughter had known manic issues I’d be in the car in 2 minutes flat and have her held until I arrived. But here goes the cpunty insurance footing the bill again.

    2. Stryker 21 says:

      Another mudflap family leaching on the system. The police has no obligation to make sure you have a ride, cell phone or money. It’s jail, not summer camp. The family should have been more alert to her since they knew she had a mental condition. Maybe they can get off of welfare and spend the dirty money.

  3. JFK says:

    So if we have no charges against or even a case against anyone or thing,are we all to assume she sim ply wondered into the woiods and is a case of little red riding hood??!!!

  4. c-man says:

    Why do politicians always aim to please the blacks and hispanics. This family should not get one penny. It is not the fault of the sheriff’s that she vanished. If they would have kept her till morning for her safety, the family would have sued for wrongful detainment. I am sure the family will have the money spent in one year and have probably already bought an Escalade, painted it purple, and put 28″ wheels on it.

    1. TT says:

      @C-man ..If they would have sued for wrongful detainment they would still have their daughter, and it wouldnt be costing the taxpayers near as much as it is now ….
      And Im sure they would rather have their child – mentally ill or otherwise… I’m willing to bet 1/2 of these comments are from people that dont even have kids….
      or dont have children that have a mental illness… till you’re there -you dont get it . sorry…

    2. NT says:

      What a prejudice comment. Where are your comments when a white officer gets no time or even a slap on the wrist for killing / beating minorites? Oh wait. You sit back and rejoice. If this young lady was white there would have been a longer search, a march to the state capital, and a state law/ bill passed in her name.

      1. NT says:

        That comment was @C-man

  5. wow, some people are so cruel says:

    Totally agree with TT

  6. im blaming u says:

    It is so sad. I had seen this coming. Im a mother but some things happen because they do. We can’t blame everyone for every little thing that happens. The parents, can’t find closure and by suing the police feel they’ll find it like that?maybe they loved the money more than their daughter that after dead want to make money out of her like that will bring her back ..hopefully if with the money they got they’ll spend it on chariraty or making aware others of the dangers something with their daughters name … which im sure nothing positive will come out of that money … sorry

    1. Mike says:

      Because they don’t care about closure, or their daughter, they just want money!

      1. Alden says:

        Mike, I was just about to say that I wished something just as bad or worse happened to you to make you think before you make stupid, insensitive comments like that… but I won’t. Karma is a b. All that hate and ignorance tends to come back on us at some point, so I’ll leave you to your own device.

  7. Kathy says:

    Mental illness is REAL! Had the sheriff’s taken the extra steps and had her evaluated the county would have $900,000 to add to their budget. This is not an issue of race but of common sense. Ask the family of Kelly Thomas…Both of lost lives should stand as a constant reminder that we are our brothers (sisters) keeper. The people paid to serve and protect had better do more than SERVE up ass kickings to the public then PROTECT themselves. RIP Mitrice & Kelly…

    1. Mufon says:

      Sounds like we have a candidate to become a police officer or sheriff’s deputy. Why don’t you do it, if you have the apparent skill about which you base your comments? Blogging and cop-hating is fun and risk-free, true, but not very productive.

    2. marc says:

      kathy you are so very wrong police, the gov., social services NON are the ones who have the duty to watch out for our mentally ill kids and or family members is IS THE FAMILYS DUTY if this woman was arrested then she had a chance to call her family which she may or may not have done. she was arrested for skipping out of a restraunt bill not for anything that showed cause for a mental eval. cops are not shrinks they have no way to know she was manic (if she was) and once it was time to release her they had no other choices. this like the kelly case was and is a FAILURE on the familys part not the police

  8. roger says:

    Beats having to work for nearly a mil. Can you imagine the time and effort it would require to earn $900,000? It’d be exhausting. They got it in about a year!

  9. pat says:

    I guess they can pay for the next meal without defrauding the restaurant..

  10. Shaft says:

    Nothing admits guilt more than a settlement.

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