Bench, mementos reported missing from memorial for slain Sacramento County deputy

Sacramento County sheriff’s officials are investigating the disappearance of a bench and other mementos from a memorial site honoring Deputy Jeff Mitchell.

The memorial, in a rural area of southern Sacramento County, has provided a place for friends, family and the public to visit and pay their respects to Mitchell, who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 27, 2006.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said the department recently learned that a bench at the memorial site was missing. Following a preliminary investigation, detectives concluded that the site had been disturbed. She said the bench and other mementos taken from the site have not been found.

Detectives are asking the public’s help in narrowing the time frame in which the items disappeared, likely between mid-April and mid-May.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s detective division at (916) 874-5388.

Mitchell, 38, died at 3:30 a.m. on a rural lane in southern Sacramento County. He reportedly was patrolling the area alone when he sent a computer message to dispatchers that he was checking on a white Chevrolet van with no license plates at Meiss and Dillard roads. Minutes later, a concerned dispatcher sent other deputies to check on Mitchell. They found him on the ground, dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.

His killer has not been found.