Complaint Filed Against LASD Detective in Mitrice Richardson Case After Recent Court Findings
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Complaint Filed Against LASD Detective in Mitrice Richardson Case After Recent Court Findings

An updated complaint was filed against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide detective Dan McElderry after it was revealed in recent court findings that McElderry lied in a case leading to the false conviction of Miguel Solorio who was wrongfully convicted of murder.

The defense and the prosecution’s failure to impeach Detective McElderry’s false testimony led to Solorio spending over two decades in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Solorio was exonerated in November of 2023.

This recent discovery of McElderry’s false testimony led to an updated complaint filed by Dr. Ronda Hampton, an advocate for Mitrice Richardson who went missing on September 17th, 2009, after being released from the Lost Hills Station shortly after midnight with no cell phone, no money and no means of transportation to safety.

                                                                               Mitrice Richardson went missing on September 17th, 2009.

Richardson’s partially mummified skeletal remains were found 11 months later just six miles from the Lost Hills Station and 1.5 miles from where she was last seen.

McElderry was one of the detectives on scene who made the controversial decision to move Richardson’s remains without permission from the L.A. County Medical Examiner’s Office.

As a result of the mishandling of Richardson’s remains and the failure to properly document the crime scene, Richardson’s death was ruled inconclusive.

LASD Detective Dan McElderry. Photo byThe Daily Breeze

Dr. Hampton who was alerted to McElderry’s false testimony in the Solorio case just last week, filed a formal complaint with LASD on March 22nd:

“This serves as my official complaint against Detective Dan McElderry of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the illegal removal of the naked skeletal remains of Mitrice Richardson in August 2010. I originally filed a complaint in 2011 and Detective McElderry was cleared of any wrongdoing; however, in light of new information regarding the behaviors and actions of Detective McElderry, I am requesting a re-investigation of his actions based on my original complaint as follows.

It is alleged that LASD detectives Dan McElderry and Kevin Acevedo engaged in the criminal act of removing the skeletal remains of Mitrice Richardson against the direct orders of the Los Angeles County Coroner officer, Assistant Chief Ed Winter, on August 9th, 2010. Additionally, and in violation of the state penal code, LASD personnel did not immediately notify the coroner’s office of the discovery of human remains and instead waited approximately one and a half hours before notification.

The illegal act of removing Mitrice Richardson’s body was not only a violation of the law, but also so severely compromised the potential crime scene that the coroner was unable to perform critical analysis at the site where her remains were discovered. The crime scene and her remains were not properly photo-documented and appropriate samples were not taken due to the improper removal of her remains by the LASD detectives which significantly interfered with the ability of the coroner’s office to find cause and manner of death. The criminal acts of removal of Mitrice Richardson’s body and destroying potential crime scene evidence warrant prosecution.

My request for the re-investigation of the actions of Detective McElderry is based on recent information learned about his actions in cases dating back at least 25 years. It has recently been brought to my attention that Detective Dan McElderry has been implicated in the wrongful incarceration of Miguel Solorio who was arrested in 1998 and convicted of murder in 2000.

Detective McElderry has been accused of perjury or falsifying facts leading to the wrongful conviction of Mr Solorio. Mr. Solorio was exonerated in November of 2023 due to the discovery of the actions of Detective McElderry in his case. I am also aware of a complaint filed by Miguel Guitierrez who also accuses Detective Dan McElderry of malfeasance while he was the detective investigating Mr. Guitierrez for murder. While Mr. Guitierrez was not successful in his complaint against Detective McElderry and he remains incarcerated, it is my hope that the recent exoneration of Mr. Solorio will lead to the reconsideration of the case of Mr Guitierrez.

It should not be the case that Detective McElderry gets to walk away free and clear while the department is aware of his actions in the case of Mr. Solorio and there should be great concern for any case that he has investigated during his tenure as an employee of the LASD. I look forward to the results of my request for the re-investigate of the actions of Detective Dan McElderry in the case of Mitrice Richardson.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the renewal and increase of a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for the person(s) in connection with the suspicious disappearance and heinous death of Mitrice Richardson. The reward now stands at $20,000.

March 24, 2024

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Editor in Chief, Cece Woods

Malibu Daily News Editor in Chief Cece Woods founded The Local Malibu, an activism based platform, in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of two ballot measures, seating three Malibu City Councilmen in 2016 and the supporting the top two vote-getters again in 2020.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings and a few short months later, provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over 1 million hits across her social media platforms.