Calif. deputy's killer remains at large

By Jim Doyle
The San Francisco Chronicle
Copyright 2006 San Francisco Chronicle
All Rights Reserved

SACRAMENTO- Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies continued hunting Sunday for the killer of a Sacramento deputy sheriff last heard from when he told a dispatcher he planned to check out a white or light-colored van with no license plates.

Investigators are close to ruling out any connection between the slaying early Friday of Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Mitchell, 38, and the discovery nearly 12 hours later and 20 miles away of two dead people in a van partially submerged in the Cosumnes River in El Dorado County.

Mitchell was shot in the head about 3:30 a.m., soon after he called a dispatcher to say he was checking a suspicious Chevrolet van in the rural part of the county southeast of Sacramento. He was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The bodies of Allan E. Shubert, 43, of Sacramento and Nicole Ann Welch, 28, of North Highlands (Sacramento County) were found Friday afternoon inside Shubert's van in about 18 inches of water. Police said the two may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning after the van's tailpipe flooded; a toxicology report was not complete Sunday.

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