Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jared Mitkus will focus on domestic violence investigations in his new position.
Mitkus, 33, started work as a detective April 6. He had been a patrol deputy with the sheriff’s office since November 2013.
Domestic violence cases present unique challenges for law enforcement, including the possibility a victim will recant.
A thorough investigation can overcome those challenges, Mitkus said. Cellphone records, eyewitness statements, medical records, and offender history can all help lead to a conviction with or without a cooperating victim. Mitkus will gather this information.
Mitkus will also work closely with advocates at the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office and New Hope for Women “to guide the victims along the process and provide them with additional support,” he said.
As Mitkus grows familiar with his new role, he will begin to investigate other cases as well.
“As time goes on, they will work me into child abuse cases, drug crimes, and financial crimes as well, but for a bit here my primary focus is going to be domestic violence,” Mitkus said.
Mitkus graduated from Bristol Consolidated School and Lincoln Academy. He has an associate degree in criminal justice from Andover College.
He started his career in law enforcement as a part-time officer with the Damariscotta Police Department in 2003. He has been interested in investigative work since the beginning.
Damariscotta Police Chief Steve Drake “was one of my mentors and still is a role model of mine,” Mitkus said.
Drake was a homicide detective with the Maine State Police and an assistant director of the agency’s crime laboratory before his appointment as Damariscotta’s police chief in 2003.
“I can remember my first week on the job, I was handed a firearms burglary case that I was kind of overwhelmed with,” Mitkus said. “I was so new. What do I do with it?”
“I think that was the start of my interest in working in-depth investigations, was being able to get a crime that we may or may not have leads on and dig and dig and dig and dig until you’re able to get enough together to present a case to the court,” Mitkus said.
Mitkus landed a position as a full-time officer with the Boothbay Harbor Police Department in 2004 and graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program in 2005.
Boothbay Harbor Police Chief Bob Hasch “was another big influence on me as far as investigations go,” Mitkus said. “He’s a very thorough investigator and is very good at interviewing.”
Mitkus already has several successful investigations to his credit.
His investigation of an August 2010 burglary at Enchantments in Boothbay Harbor led to three convictions.
One of the three individuals convicted in that case remains at large. Drew J. Bibber, 23, formerly of Wiscasset, did not appear for a sentence hearing in Lincoln County Superior Court March 29, 2012.
Almost five years after the burglary, Mitkus continues to actively work the case.
“Every once in a while we get a tip and we follow up on it, working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and I’m confident that he’ll get caught,” Mitkus said.
Mitkus’ investigation of a Thanksgiving 2011 jewelry heist from a Boothbay Harbor home resulted in the conviction of the burglars and a $26,804 restitution order.
Mitkus also played a key role in the conviction of serial burglar Ronald G. Fuller, 65, of Boothbay Harbor. Mitkus was present to watch Fuller receive a seven-year prison sentence in Lincoln County Superior Court Friday, April 10.
“That was a pretty big case,” Mitkus said. “It involved a lot of different investigators, dozens of victims, and it was a very unique case because of how many different players were involved.”
Mitkus’ promotion fills a vacancy left by the November retirement of Detective Robert McFetridge. “Becoming a detective was one of my career goals,” Mitkus said. “Now that I’m here in this role, I obviously want to succeed at it.”
Outside work, Mitkus practices Brazilian jiu jitsu and participates in extreme obstacle races. He is currently preparing for the Bone Frog Challenge. The 10-mile obstacle course in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains is designed by U.S. Navy SEALS.
Mitkus lives in Newcastle with his wife, Jennifer Mitkus. He likes to spend time at home with his wife and their dogs or at his family’s home on Cape Cod. He is an avid Boston sports fan.