Michael Richardson, the father of 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson, the young woman whose remains were found in a Malibu ravine in early August after a 11-month search for her, has not given up trying to obtain justice for his daughter’s death.
Richardson is currently lobbying state legislators to pass the “Mitrice Richardson Custodial Law,” which would provide greater protection for people who are released from the custody of jails, prisons, and hospitals.
The proposed law–which is being written by Jasmyne Cannick, a journalist and community activist who has been heavily involved in the case–would ensure that no one is released in the condition that Mitrice Richardson was: Alone and in the middle of the night, with no transportation or personal belongings. Under the proposed legislation, any agency with custodial rights over someone would be required to release them to a licensed, insured driver, who signs an affidavit of responsibility.
In addition to the law, on Saturday, the famed Crenshaw Car Wash will team up with the Richardson family and their supporters to raise money for the Mitrice Richardson Fund. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. a part of proceeds from the vehicles washed will be donated to the fund, which aids in the efforts to further inquire into Richardson’s disappearance and death.
“I am a part of this community,” explained Nuriel “Uri” Zeituni, owner of the Crenshaw Car Wash since 1985. “I was so moved by the story of Mitrice Richardson that I wanted to try and do something to help the family. I felt like this was one way I could help give back to the community, while offering my condolences.”
“We’re grateful for Uri’s support,” commented Michael. “It just goes to show you that my daughter’s murder touched everyone–Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, men, and women. Through Mitrice, we are all coming together for a bigger cause–justice.”
In addition to the fundraiser, Michael will lead a walk in remembrance of his daughter on September 16 in Malibu on the eve of the one-year anniversary of her initial disappearance. Proceeds from the car wash will help provide buses to Malibu transport members of the community who want to participate in the walk.
“We are going to walk from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department, to as close as we can get to where she was found,” said Cannick. “We are doing this because we want to remember her, but we are also doing it so that people can see for themselves and many questions can be answered. You can’t walk down to where she was found. Mitrice didn’t jump to her death, she was put there. When people see the terrain, they will understand that unless you are very familiar with the area, or a park ranger, there is no way that you are going to be able to get down there. Mitrice didn’t commit suicide. She was murdered.”
Cannick is passionate about not letting the anniversary of Mitrice’s death go unmarked, and maintained that supporters still haven’t received any new information about the cause of death.
“We haven’t heard anything since the press conference in the beginning of August. They just found these two mummified babies in a 75-year-old abandoned building in Koreatown, and were able to find the cause of death in two weeks, but they can’t tell us what happened to Mitrice, after 11 months?”
The Richardson family and its supporters are encouraging everyone to participate in the car wash and the walk to continue to push for justice in the aftermath of such a devastating loss.