Mitrice Richardson's dad blames sheriff

LOS ANGELES He accused the department of mishandling his daughter's case and said he believed there were more unanswered questions about what happened to Richardson on the night of her arrest.

Richardson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate, had been taken into custody on a citizen's arrest after failing to pay an $89 restaurant tab in Malibu. The sheriff's department has come under scrutiny for releasing Richardson from the Malibu-Lost Hills station in the middle of the night last September 17, with no car, money or phone.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told reporters that the cause of death was being deferred, pending further investigation. "We did not find anything obvious at this time, but it's a long process," Winter said. The remains could have been there for six months or longer, according to Winter, who said the identification was made using dental records.

Baca said there was no indication that the former beauty pageant contestant met with foul play, but more investigation would be needed.

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