January 17, 2022

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Florida deputies take their own lives, leave behind 1-month-old son – WEAU

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FORT PIERCE, Fla. (Gray News) – Two deputies from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office took their own lives, leaving behind a 1-month-old son.

According to the sheriff’s office, Deputy Clayton Osteen tried to kill himself on New Year’s Eve, shortly before midnight. He was taken to the hospital and removed from life support on Jan. 2.

Officials said Deputy Victoria Pacheco took her own life after learning of Osteen’s death.

She and Osteen were the parents of Jayce Osteen who was born Nov. 22, 2021, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser for the infant.

The fundraiser post says Jayce will be adopted by a close family member.

Jayce Osteen was born Nov. 22, 2021.
Jayce Osteen was born Nov. 22, 2021.(Kelly Ridle // GoFundMe)

“Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff’s office family,” Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement.

Mascara said the deputies were full of ambition and were a great complement to the department.

Osteen, a SWAT team member, was named Deputy of the Year in 2020 and had served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“To the general public, and sometimes even myself, it’s easy to view law enforcement as superhuman … but let’s not forget that they’re human just like us,” the sheriff wrote.

Mascara said he hopes this tragedy becomes a catalyst to help ease the stigma surrounding mental health and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many people face.

Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide is encouraged to call 211 or the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK.

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