LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The mother of a woman whose body was found nearly a year after her release from custody has filed a second lawsuit against the county, this time alleging deputies improperly removed her daughter’s remains from the discovery site.
Latice Sutton is asking for unspecified damages, alleging negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Sutton’s daughter, 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson, went missing in September 2009. The Cal State Fullerton student’s body was found last August in Malibu Canyon by deputies and park rangers who were looking for illegal marijuana farms.
After the woman’s body was found, coroner’s staffers told deputies not to disturb the remains, according to the new complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“Despite these orders, the sheriff’s deputies improperly removed the remains of Ms. Richardson from the discovery site,” the suit alleges.
Three months later, Sheriff Lee Baca and a team of his deputies led Sutton and some of her family members to the site where they said Richardson’s body was found, according to the lawsuit.
“After searching the site, a member of (Sutton’s) family located a small human bone that had been left on the ground by either the sheriff’s deputies who discovered the remains or the coroner who reported to the scene,” the suit says.
Sutton claims that, based on her communications with the coroner’s office, she later realized that the site Baca and his deputies took her to was not the same one from where her daughter’s remains were actually excavated.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to comment on the suit.
Sutton and her ex-husband, Michael Richardson, previously filed suits alleging that deputies failed to get needed medical assistance to their daughter and instead released her in the middle of the night from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in Agoura Hills, despite her strange and
Those suits were consolidated and are awaiting trial.
Their daughter was arrested and briefly incarcerated after exhibiting manic behavior and failing to pay a bill at Geoffrey’s, an oceanside restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
Investigators said she apparently had a mental breakdown after being awake for as many as five nights, citing diaries found in the car she was driving.
Deputies summoned to the restaurant searched Mitrice Richardson’s car and found some marijuana, prompting them to impound the vehicle.