It is a tragedy that has shocked America.
Two married police officers – who had recently taken in a newborn baby – committed suicide just two days apart.
Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco were interred together by colleagues in the St Lucia County Sheriff’s Office on January 8.
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According to a Facebook post by the department on January 4, Clayton died on January 2 after being taken out of the resuscitation system following a suicide attempt on New Years Eve.
Two days later, Victoria also committed suicide.
The couple left behind a one-month-old son, Jayce.
“On New Years Eve shortly before midnight our agency responded to a call where we learned that Deputy Osteen, who was not on duty at the time, attempted to kill himself,” said Sheriff Ken J Mascara in a Jan.5 release. .
“On Sunday January 2, the family of Deputy Osteen made the very difficult decision to remove him from the intensive care system.
“This morning we learned that Deputy Pacheco, who shared a one month old son with Deputy Osteen, committed suicide following the death of Deputy Osteen.
“Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two family members from our sheriff’s office.
“As Sheriff, I viewed these two MPs as young, ambitious and a big compliment to my already incredible group of professionals.
“For the general public, and sometimes even for myself, it’s easy to think of law enforcement as superhuman… but let’s not forget that they are human just like us.
“While it is impossible for us to fully understand the private circumstances that led to this devastating loss, we pray that this tragedy will become a catalyst for change, a catalyst to help alleviate the stigma surrounding mental well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis.
According to a fundraising page set up to support the couple’s orphaned son, the child will be adopted.
Kelly Ridle, a friend of Clayton’s who set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jayce’s future, announced the baby will be adopted by a “close family member.”
“The families of Clayton and Victoria are very grateful for all the prayers and support received,” Ridle wrote on the donations page. “All donations will be used to enrich Jayce’s life experiences and secure a better future.”
A representative from GoFundMe has confirmed the validity of the fundraising campaign, which raised over $ 60,000, to TODAY.
On Friday, the sheriff’s office shared an additional donation page for Jayce based on an “outpouring of support” in the wake of the tragedy.
A native of Florida, Clayton served in the Marine Corps and led the Marine Infantry as a non-commissioned officer before working as a sheriff’s deputy, according to his obituary.
He was named MP of the Year in 2020 and would have turned 25 on January 14.
Victoria, known as “Tori”, was remembered as a “confident, willful and fearless young woman” who loved her son, her “fur babies” and had adventures like swimming with sharks.
Photos posted to Facebook by the St Lucia County Sheriff’s Office on January 8 showed the couple bidding farewell by colleagues waving to their coffins, one of which was draped with the American flag and the other with a bouquet of white roses.
“Today we say goodbye to our brother and sister, Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco. May you rest in peace, ”the caption said in the photos.
“We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and love from our law enforcement and community colleagues.”
If you need help with a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on depression, contact Beyondblue on 1300224636 or speak with your GP, local healthcare professional or someone you trust. .