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Mitrice Richardson's Parents Reported to Be Seeing $900,000 Settlement as L.A. Mag Exposes Shocking Investigative Blunders

On a day when the Los Angeles Times reported that the parents of the late Mitrice Richardson had tentatively settled for $900,000 in their suit against the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, a Los Angeles magazine expose uncovered what appears to be a sloppy if not outright bungled investigation into her death.

Our friend and former editor [from another publication] Mike Kessler dug into the case of Richardson, who went missing in September of 2009 after she was released from sheriff's custody to the remote area outside its Lost Hills station, and found some pretty jaw-dropping evidence of a sheriff's department that didn't seem to care (or possibly worse).

Via LAObserved, Kessler writes:

As for the nakedness of Mitrice's body, [Lt.] Rosson posited that animals removed her clothing, only a portion of which--jeans, belt, and bra--was recovered. Given the lo- cation of those items, this would mean that scavengers took off Mitrice's sneakers and socks, unbuckled her belt and slipped it out of its loops, then unzipped and tugged off her jeans before removing her underwear. The animals would have unfastened her two-hook bra and gotten it out from under her....They'd have had to carry the jeans and bra 500 feet and 600 feet, respectively, down the canyon, drop them in the creek, and carry the belt another hundred feet downstream to hang it on the mess of vines where it was found. Finally, the creatures would have to have eaten or otherwise disposed of Mitrice's two T-shirts, underwear, socks, and sneakers.

Yeah, like that. (The full story isn't online. You'll have to buy the September issue of Los Angeles to read it).

Richardson's body was found a year ago in a remote area of the Malibu hills.

The Los Angeles Times reported that investigators moved the body before the coroner could take a look and that other, possibly related bones were found in subsequent searches.

The 24-year-old's parents filed suit against the sheriff's department for releasing her into the wild in the middle of the night.

She had been arrested for allegedly failing to pay a tab at a Malibu restaurant.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]