LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The remains of a 24-year-old woman, whose decomposing body was found in Malibu’s backcountry nearly a year after she was released from the local sheriff’s station, were exhumed today at her family’s request in an attempt to determine how she died.

Mitrice Richardson, who may have been in manic state, was arrested at a Malibu waterfront restaurant on the evening of Sept. 16, 2009, for failing to pay her bill and was released shortly after midnight from the sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills Station without her car, telephone or purse.

Despite extensive searches, her remains were not found until Aug. 9 last year, and both her parents have sued over her death.

A coroner’s official criticized sheriff’s deputies for moving Richardson’s remains before they could be examined where they were found.

Richardson’s mother, Latice Sutton, later found a finger bone at the site, and authorities recovered eight more bones in February.

Richardson’s parents hope that an examination of their daughter’s remains will shed some light on what happened to her.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said the remains were unearthed at an Inglewood cemetery today and turned over to a private pathologist hired by the family.

Sutton and ex-husband Michael Richardson filed separate wrongful death lawsuits that were later consolidated. They allege sheriff’s deputies should not have turned their daughter loose in what should have recognized as an unhealthy mental state.

A diary recovered from the young woman’s car, which had been impounded because deputies found some marijuana in it, suggested she may have gone without sleep for as many as five days before her arrest.