Mitrice Richardson disappeared after being arrested by LA Country Sheriffs on September 16, 2009. She was taken to the Lost Hills (Malibu, California) Sheriffs station booked and released sometime after midnight and before dawn later on September 17. She was spotted briefly by a person who lives near the police station but has not been seen in the Los Angeles area since.
Read more about Mitrice's disappearance here
Now word has gotten around that there are reports Mitrice Richardson may have been seen in Las Vegas over the last few weeks. On the surface this is good news. But there are a few things at play here to consider.
First, Mitrice's mom, Latice Sutton, does not think that the most publicized sighting of Mitrice is credible. This sighting involves someone who says he was a friend of Mitrice's in high school and spotted her in Las Vegas at the Rio hotel at about 3 am on a Saturday last month.
"Richardson's mother, Latice Sutton, said she does not believe the sighting at the Rio is credible because Amerson was not a close friend of her daughter's and had not seen her for years. In a press statement on Thursday, she said she "hopes this is not a diversionary tactic to redirect attention and efforts away from where Mitrice was last known to be last seen — leaving" the Sheriff's Department." - LA Times| July 30
Second, both of Mitrice's parents have filed lawsuits against the LA County Sheriffs Department. So that might be motivating the police moreso than this sighting being credible.
"Both of her parents have filed lawsuits against the Sheriff's Department, which has been harshly criticized for not holding her for a mental evaluation. Sheriff's officials have countered that she was acting normally while in custody and that they told her she could stay at the station until someone could pick her up.
Her father, Michael Richardson, said he saw the news conference as a way to deflect attention from his lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday." -LA Times| July 30
But Mitrice's father also believes he saw Mitrice in Las Vegas this past January.
"He's convinced, however, that he saw his daughter on the street when he was visiting Las Vegas in January, though she disappeared before he could catch up with her. Family members and a close friend have said that Sheriff's Lt. Mike Rosson has discussed with them what Richardson might be doing in Las Vegas. "He said they are considering all avenues — including prostitution, night clubs," said Ronda Hampton, a psychologist and friend of Richardson's mother." - LA Times| July 30
The LA Police Department held a news conference in Las Vegas yesterday. They say there have been several sighting of Mitrice in Las Vegas over the last several weeks.
"...bus drivers, waitresses, bartenders and hotel security officers, when shown her photo, have positively identified the Cal State Fullerton graduate, who turned 25 in April. But the reports are typically at least a few days old, and authorities concede they could be inaccurate." - LA Times| July 30
So as you can see there is a lot going one here. The LAPD has their story about what's going on and so does the family. I personally think Mitrice's mom is the most credible party. My only hope in all this is that Mitrice is safe and will be found soon.
The LAPD is going to be in Las Vegas at least through this weekend looking for Mitrice.
See Mitrice's mother's website here