two deputies tragically take their own lives within days of each other, living behind a 1-month-old

Two Deputies Tragically Take Their Own Lives Within Days of Each Other, Leaving Behind a 1-Month-Old

A community is in shock after the double suicide of two sheriff’s deputies resulted in their 1-month-old baby being orphaned. According to WPTV, St. Lucie County Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco took their own lives within days of each other.

As CBS News reports, Osteen attempted suicide on New Year’s Eve. He was removed from life support on Sunday. On Tuesday, January 4, Pacheco also took her life. It’s unclear where their child was during these tragedies.

Two Deputies Tragically Take Their Own Lives Within Days of Each Other, Leaving Behind a 1-Month-Old

two deputies tragically take their own lives within days of each other, living behind a 1-month-old
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In an interview with retired police officer Dana Bennett, the former officer told WPTV that the double suicide is “devastating. It really is. When one of us hurts, we all hurt.”

As Bennett continued, “People don’t understand what we take home with us.” Currently, Bennett works for the Copeline, which offers officers a safe place to talk through what they are feeling with other officers who uniquely understand what they are going through.

Sadly, the former officer tells WPTV that “we’ve seen the increase in suicides in the police officers. We’ve had a big uptick.”

Both Osteen and Pacheco were beloved members of the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Department. As WPTV reports, Osteen joined the department after serving as a U.S. Marine in 2019.

Pacheco joined a year later in 2020. Both of them managed to make a mark on the department in a short time.

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two deputies tragically take their own lives within days of each other, leaving behind a 1-month-old
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In 2020, Osteen was named deputy of the year and saved a person’s life who overdosed on drugs. Similarly, Pacheco also received an award in 2021 for also saving the life of someone who overdosed.

Now, other first responders and public servants are oping Osteen and Pacheco tragic story will be a “catalyst for change” that will ultimately “ease the stigma” of mental health, CBS News reports. St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara issued a statement on Facebook following their passings.

“Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our Sheriff’s Office family. As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great compliment to my already amazing group of professionals. 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.”

Mascara continued to saying, “While it is impossible for us to fully comprehend the private circumstances leading up to this devastating loss, we pray that this tragedy becomes a catalyst for change, a catalyst to help ease the stigma surrounding mental well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis.”

It’s unclear how long the deputies were in a relationship. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both Osteen and Pacheco during this difficult time.

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