By Miriam Raftery
July 1, 2010 (Lakeside) -- Two women found dead at the scene of a car crash off Highway 67 Tuesday in Lakeside have been identified as Thao Richardson, 57, and her mother, Than Lyi, 72. Today, Sheriff’s officers arrested Michael Eugene Richardson, 57, for statutory rape of his 17-year-old niece.
An investigation into the crash has concluded that it was staged. Authorities on the scene told ECM that “suspicious evidence” was found. Richardson has not yet been charged with the double murder, but he is considered “the only person of interest” in those deaths by Sheriff’s officials, according to other media reports today.
On March 24, Richardson’s sister-in-law Tuyet Thi Nguyen sought a temporary restraining order against Richardson, court records indicate. She alleged that he was having a romantic relationship with her 17-year-old daughter and that her sister, the homicide victim, had caught the illicit lovers attempting to run away together. Nguyen and her daughter had been staying at the Richardson home since December.
But Superior Court Judge H. Ronald Dommitz refused her request to require Richardson to move out of the family’s Chula Vista home, stating that there was only hearsay evidence and the girl did not cooperate. Nguyen and her daughter moved out a short time later.
Richardson owns a body shop in Poway. The marriage is his third. 10News reports that he has been sued for child support in 1995, but the court records are sealed.
The San Diego Medical Examiner’s office has sealed autopsy reports on the two dead women at the request of the Sheriff’s office, which has not provided details on the causes of death or the nature of the evidence found.