Remains found in an unincorporated canyon area near Malibu belong to missing woman Mitrice Richardson, county authorities announced Thursday morning.

Sheriff Lee Baca and coroner's Lt. Ed Winter told reporters that tests confirm the bones found Monday afternoon in the Monte Nido area belong to Richardson. The remote area appears to be within five miles of the sheriff's Lost Hills station, where Richardson was last seen almost a year ago.

The 24-year-old Cal State Fullerton graduate went missing Sept. 17 after she was released from the sheriff's station in early morning darkness. That day she was arrested after she allegedly failed to pay a restaurant bill in nearby Malibu.

The identification puts to rest speculation that she might have been in Las Vegas, based on a June sighting by an old childhood acquaintance there.

Both of her parents are suing the sheriff's department separately.

Her father complained that authorities did not contact him to notify him about Thursday's press conference. He said he found out through media.

LA Weekly