CALABASAS, Calif. – It is noon in downtown Los Angeles, Michael Richardson is working security, but his mind is somewhere else.

“Up and down like a roller-coaster,” says Michael.

He is thinking about his daughter Mitrice Richardson and her death 10 years ago.

“Any parent would say their kid is the greatest, but I can honestly say we had a great kid,” said Michael.

Mitrice was arrested by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office in 2009, which was the beginning of the end. She went missing after her release and her body was found less than a year later.

“When something like that gets taken from you and you never experienced it, it’s an indescribable pain that you can’t even describe how it hurts you,” says Michael.

Mitrice’s case has raised eyebrows from the start. She showed signs mental illness, but wasn’t given a psychiatric evaluation; she was released in the middle of the night, without her documents, money or her cell phone. Michael is still upset about it.

“All it took was one person to care about Mictrice that night, one person,” said Michael.

As we sit there, 30 miles away, the L.A. County Sheriff is giving a press conference on Mitrice.

“In 10 years we have learned a lot, we learned a lot that we have to care and we have to care where previously we didn’t’ think about it. Particularly when it comes to the mentally ill,” says Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Mitrice’s family has been suspicious and critical of the Sheriff’s Office in the past. They disagree with the way the investigation has been handled and they blame Sheriff Jim Mcdonnell and Kamala Harris. But they hope the new Sheriff Alex Villanueva will be different.




Villanueva says, the Sheriff’s Office has implemented reforms to avoid this tragedy from happening again. Now inmates can voluntarily extend their stay for 16 hours so they can be released in the daylight. Arresting officers have new rules on safeguarding an inmate’s personal items. There are no more waiting periods for filing a missing person’s report and deputies are being trained on crisis intervention. They are also deploying 33 mental evaluation teams across the county.

“A lot of policies have changed as a result of this case in particular,” said Villanueva.

A lot of things have changed for Michael as well, it is part of the legacy Mitrice left him.

“That’s why we fight so much because they took the best part of me ever, you know I think of ways how I would like to hurt the person if found. And I see her telling me, ‘Dad, that ain’t even worth it,’ you know, that’s the kind of person, that’s the kind of person she is,” said Michael.