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Friday, August 13, 2010

Missing Person Mystery Solved

         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?

           Oh, and happy Friday the 13th.




  1. I see my father everywhere and it freaks me out. He was abusive to me as a child and I now have no contact with him. So maybe if you don't want to see someone it has the same effect on you and you see them everywhere.

    I feel for this girl's family. how tragic :)

  2. A great post but most tragic for the person concerned, It must have been awful for her friend/relations not knowing if she were dead or alive.
    Now she can be laid to rest.

    No I have not mistaken anyone as my family tell me I go around with my eyes closed.


  3. I had heard this story on the John and Ken show shortly after the incident. Its a story where you fear the worst. Sorry to hear how things ended.

    I once saw someone who looked like me, only he was Indian or Bangleadesh or something like that. Really weird. Outright bizarre.

    Stephen Tremp

  4. I'd not heard that story.
    The only time I see someone who is gone is in my dreams.

  5. Sorry had not heard of the story but we have several similar case going on here in KY. Sad isn't it?

    I mistake people all the time. I try to consider it fate, introduce myself and meet someone new. :D

    Have a good week end Lee.
    Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. No, Lee, I had not heard of the story. It is so sad. She probably should have been released at least to the custody of a family member, clergy, or friend for safety reasons.

    I can't say (doesn't say much for my memory these days) that I have seen someone I thought was some was else.

    Although, dropping my daughter off at work the other day I did see one of my sister's "doppleganger." I don't think there is such a thing but I swear this gal looked identical to my sister at certain angles.

  7. This is such a sad story here.

    I have found that after someone to whom I was close died, I saw them several times in the weeks and months following their death. This is perhaps what you mean here by our desperate wish to see someone again even after they have disappeared from view.

    Thank you, Arlee Bird.

  8. Such a sad story, Lee. No, I haven't seen anyone in this way, but I do feel people's spirit sometimes after they've passed over. Rarely, though.

  9. I've followed this story, too, and was sorry to learn these were her remains. I've seen people who look exactly like a couple of my characters. Does that count?

  10. Tabitha -- I think you are right and I have seen people in my life like that. I guess anyone who is on your mind can be personified thru someone you don't know. I used to think I'd seen my first wife a lot, when it was really someone else.

    Yvonne -- I think a lot of us go around with "our eyes closed" at times. I guess it's called avoidance.

    Alex -- There are people I see in my dreams frequently who have passed away.

    Gregg --I've heard that there are a limited number of facial types so there could be a lot of people who look similar.

    Elisabeth -- We often see what we want to see, or at least what is weighing on our minds.

    Karen -- I've had that feeling of a spirit passing, but it may be a mental thing.

    Carol -- Sure book character are like people in real life except they are not real. Huh?

  11. I remember when Mitrice Richardson disappeared. It's a sad story. But I was pretty frustrated when I read that her sister filed a lawsuit against the police department. Sometimes bad things happen to people, and it's not necessarily anyone's fault.

  12. I hadn't heard this before, so sad. I've mistaken a person for someone else before but discovered the mistake when I got closer to the person. Two people may look very similar, but they are always different when you find the person inside!

  13. I hadn't heard of her or the story. Such a beautiful girl, and what a shame, such a waste. Tragic.

    Whew - tough post, but well done, Lee.

    Hey, could you contact me off-blog? I'm taking my new novel, "Beware the Devil's Hug", on virtual blog book tour in October. Could I interest you in hosting a stop? If so, contact me at, ok?

  14. When we lost Calvin & Hobbes, we'd see them everywhere. Especially the flash of white fur, which was Calvin. (Yes, they were our cats, but they were family to us.)

  15. Karen -- The lawsuit issue is disappointing, but not unexpected. I heard that both parents have lawsuits in the works. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this story except now it won't really be about Mitrice.

    Connie -- Yes you are right. Our unigueness is more from the inside than the outside.

    Marvin -- Thanks for visiting. I'm looking forward to The Devil's Hug --- well the book I mean, not,uh, oh never mind, you know.

    L. Diane -- The same concept of familiarity could certainly work for animals.

  16. wow, I'm glad they found her, but this is so tragic. I had not heard of her here in Missouri. We have our share too of missing people which always disburbs me. I think not knowing is worse than knowing someone is dead.

    At least her family can stop wondering.


  17. To echo Teresa, at least the family has closure.

    I think when faced with the incomprehensible loss of a child, the need to grasp for hope could easily cause the people close to her to see her across crowded rooms, city streets, etc.

    Very sad.


  18. my dad died in 2003 and the week and weeks following.. I would see him in stores... and start to run up to him and then the man would turn.. and I would be knocked into reality... so I understand...this feeling.. but i have never heard of Mitrice...

  19. Teresa -- Not knowing anything would have have that mixture of hope and dread ongoing until the answer come. It would be an emotional roller coaster.

    LC -- Sad indeed. One having lost someone like that would always be watching and waiting.

    Lisa -- I often dream of my father, who died in 1990. After I've had one of these dreams I always feel so uplifted and peaceful--like he's given me a message of hope.


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