LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Investigators seem to think they can find 25-year-old Mitrice Richardson alive and living in Las Vegas. But despite the numerous reported "sightings," the former teacher's mother dismisses the notion, and hopes the recent turn of events in the investigation is not a "diversionary" tactic.
In a statement obtained by CNN, Latice Sutton said she "does not believe Mitrice is in Las Vegas, nor does she believe the sighting of Mitrice by a teenage acquaintance is a credible sighting since he has not seen her since she was 15-year-old, which was over nine years ago."
Sutton, who believes the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. is to blame for her daughter's September 25, 2009 disappearance and has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, wants police to spend more time following up leads in the Calabasas, Calif. area where she was last seen alive.
She believes the police should have administered a psychiatric or medical evaluation before releasing her daughter "alone in an unfamiliar area without money, a cellular phone, or means of transportation...," reports CNN.
Richardson walked out of a Los Angeles sheriff's station ten months ago and mysteriously vanished. The young teacher had been arrested earlier that day for failing to pay a bill at a restaurant; however, Richardson, who was said to be acting erratically, was released and never heard from again.
Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (213) 485-5381 or, 1-877-LAPD-24-7 after business hours or on weekends.