The parents of former Cal State Fullerton student Mitrice Richardson--whose remains were found last year near a remote Los Angeles County Sheriff's station that had released the 24-year-old around midnight a year before without a car, money, identification or assistance--have reportedly reached a tentative settlement in their case against LA County that would pay them $900,000.
Sources are said to have revealed that amount would be split evenly between Richardson's natural parents, who are divorced.
"It is to my sadness and disappointment I am reporting to you it is the confirmed remains of Mitrice Richardson," LA County Sheriff Lee Baca said at a news conference four days after bones were discovered in the Malibu mountains in August 2010.
The former Titan and Miss Fullerton contestant was last seen leaving the Lost Hills sheriff's station in Malibu in the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2009. She had been arrested the night before for allegedly not paying for her meal at an upscale restaurant and generally acting bizarre. Her 1990 Honda Civic was impounded.
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After she went missing, her family revealed the college honors graduate suffered from mental health issues and should have been kept at the sheriff's station until a relative arrived to pick her up.
At last year's press conference, which Richardson's parents attended, Baca sought to deflect his department from criticism, saying if anything in the case pointed to needed reforms, it was arrests made at the urging of restaurant owners. The sheriff said Richardson had been placed under citizen's arrest by the eatery's owner before deputies were called.
Richardson's father had just filed his lawsuit against Baca and LA County. Her mother had filed a wrongful death complaint before her daughter's remains were even found.
The Los Angeles Times reports today "sources with knowledge of the negotiations" confirmed the tentative settlement worth $900,000 had been reached.