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Mitrice Richardson exhumed by family request

Mitrice Richardson

July 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mitrice Richardson's remains were exhumed by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office at the family's request Wednesday.

The family requested the exhumation to investigate the cause of the death of the 24-year-old Inglewood resident who went missing in Malibu in September 2009. Her body was found in Malibu Canyon in August 2010.

Richardson's family contends the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. mishandled the homicide investigation when her remains were removed the location.

Richardson's mother, Latice Sutton, has filed two lawsuits against the sheriff's department for negligence.

Richardson was detained for not paying a restaurant bill in Malibu in 2009. She appeared in a manic state. Later the same night, deputies released Richardson without a phone or identification. Sutton says deputies should have recognized Richardson was not in a competent state and should not have released her.

When skeletal remains were found in Malibu Canyon in August 2010, sheriff's deputies removed Richardson's remains from the canyon without coroner's office representatives present.

Latice Sutton later found a finger bone that belonged to Richardson in the same area.

The coroner's office exhumed Richardson's remains from an Inglewood cemetery Wednesday for examination by a private pathologist hired by the family, according to the coroner's office.

The body was expected to be re-interred by Wednesday evening.

An official report says deputies acted reasonably in releasing Richardson. The county's Office of Independent Review said deputies carefully determined she wasn't drunk, dangerous or mentally ill before freeing her.

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