It’s been more than 11 years since deputy Jeff Mitchell was found murdered in a field in southern Sacramento County, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for the person responsible.
At 3:27 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2006, 38-year-old Mitchell pulled over a white Chevrolet Astro Van without license plates for a vehicle code violation near Dillard and Meiss roads.
When Mitchell failed to respond to dispatchers after a couple of minutes, another deputy was sent to the area to check on him.
Upon arrival, Mitchell was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Mitchell was airlifted to the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he was later pronounced dead. The white van was also missing from the scene.
Deputies later learned that Mitchell was shot in the head with his own gun.
Later the same day, the white van was found abandoned in the Cosumnes River, about 20 miles away from where Mitchell was found, with two bodies inside. Deputies believe one or more people were trying to dump the bodies, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning, in the rural area when Mitchell pulled them over. No one else was found near the car.
“There’s not a lot of evidence on this case,” retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Michaela Links said. “It’s very difficult for our agency and Jeff’s family to know that this is still not solved.”
Mitchell left behind a wife and a 6-year-old son. Mitchell was with the Sheriff’s Department for nine years and was a deputy for the last six years.
“Unfortunately, we have had several officers killed since then. A lot of us have known them and you work the case since you need to work it and you mourn later,” Links said. “But this case is the only one of them that is unsolved, as far as one of our officers being killed in recent times.”
The Sheriff’s Department is still working the case and asks the public for their help.
“Whether they are afraid to come forward, they can be protected by doing it anonymously, but we really need somebody to come forward that knows what happened and tell us,” Links said.
If you have any information regarding Mitchell’s murder, please call 916-874-8477.