The skeletal remains of Mitrice Richardson were found this past week in a rugged remote part of the Malibu area here in Southern California. I first started posting about the disappearance of Mitrice last October 2 and followed the story for a few weeks after that.
To briefly recap the story, on the evening of last September 16th, Mitrice Richardson, a 24 year old clinical pschology student, had been at a restaurant in Malibu when police were called. She did not have money to pay her bill, but to greater concern of the restaurant mangagement she was behaving bizarrely and bothering other customers. Mitrice was arrested after marijuana was found in her car. She was taken to a Malibu sheriff substation and held for a few hours. When police came to the conclusion that she was sober and able to leave on her own they released her. Since her car had been impounded, she left on foot even though she was quite far from home or anyone she knew. There were some sightings of her in the area the following day, but no one ever heard from her from the time she had left the sheriff station.
A skull and some bones were discovered by park rangers who had been searching the area for marijuana plants. Examination revealed they were the bones of the missing woman. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said there was no indication of any foul play and determination of cause of death could prove difficult. An investigation of probable cause of death is underway. Also, there will undoubtedly be inquiries into the circumstances of Ms. Richardson's arrest and subsequent release.
Mitrice Richardson had resurfaced in the news recently as a number of possible spottings in Las Vegas had been reported. There had been speculation that she might be working in Las Vegas as a prostitute. An ex-friend and even Mitrice's father thought they had seen her, but her mother did not believe it. In fact, numerous sightings had been reported over the past year.
I think that sometimes when someone is on our mind or we really want to see somebody who is gone, we are apt to mistake others for that person that we miss. The desire to see a person that we miss can become so strong that we may quickly associate other people with similar attributes with the person we want to see.
Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else? Have you ever been convinced that you have seen a particular person in a place only to discover they had been at a totally different place at the time you had thought you had seen them? Had you heard the story about Mitrice Richardson?