An off-duty detective with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office was found dead at his residence late Thursday night, said Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand.
The police chief said units were dispatched to the Wilmington residence of Sgt. Chris Lester, who was found deceased upon the arrival of officers.
Weyand said Lester’s death remains under investigation by the police department.
Lester has worked as an investigator in the detective’s division at the sheriff’s office for the past 14 years.
Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. said Lester was an “extremely dedicated” deputy.
“He spent half of his life helping others and he will be greatly missed,” Fizer said.
Prior to going to work for the sheriff’s office, Lester was employed by Clinton County Children Services where he investigated cases involving children, Fizer said.
“Still to this day, children were his specialty,” Fizer said. “He was very good at working with cases involving children.”
Weyand called Lester an “outstanding deputy, sergeant and law enforcement leader.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire family, as well as those at the sheriff’s office during this tragic time. This is a tremendous loss for the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the law enforcement community,” Weyand said.
Fizer said Lester’s death is extremely sad. “It’s an extremely difficult time for the sheriff’s office.”
Rose Cooper can be reached at 937-382-2574 or on Twitter @RoseCooperWNJ.