Suspect in infant death charged in burglary, auto theft

Dartanin Mitchell mug 062911

A Grand Junction man under investigation in the death of his infant son was charged formally Tuesday in connection with a pair of unrelated cases, which remain sealed under court order.

In the first case, Dartanin D. Mitchell, 33, was charged with two counts of aggravated motor-vehicle theft, stemming from two separate thefts. According to charging documents, Mitchell is suspected of stealing a vehicle between June 1 and June 6, and again between June 6 and June 20.

In the second case, Mitchell was charged with felony counts of second-degree burglary and theft, plus misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a financial-transaction device and criminal mischief. Those charges are from an incident June 3.

In a protection order in the burglary and theft matters, Mitchell was restrained from going to the Mesa County Workforce Center, 2897 North Ave. Through June 8, Mitchell was an employee of Family First, a parent-mentoring program operated through Hilltop Community Resources, a Hilltop official has said. Family First is located inside the Workforce Center.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told a judge last week Mitchell is the prime suspect in the death of his infant son, Lucius Lee Mitchell, who died June 12 at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

The child had been flown there after Grand Junction police responded to a medical call involving the boy May 27 in the 2900 block of Bunting Avenue. Authorities have not specified the boy’s injuries.

Mitchell is being held at the Mesa County Jail on bonds totaling $110,000.


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