Baby left orphaned after police officer parents both take own lives
'Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff's office family'
Two Florida state police officers who were also in a relationship died by suicide last week, leaving behind their newborn son.
On Tuesday, St Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara announced the death of two deputies - Clayton Osteen and his partner Victoria Pacheco. Shortly before the clock struck twelve on New Year's Eve, the sheriff's office received a tip about an attempted suicide.
Upon investigating, police officers found the body to be that of their colleague Osteen, who had been on the force since November 2019. The officer was taken to hospital - but his family made the difficult decision to turn off life support two days later.
Only 24-hours-later, Osteen's partner and colleague Victoria Pacheco, who had been an officer since February 2020, took her own life.
"Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff's office family," Sheriff Mascara wrote in a statement.
Specific details on their double suicide are yet to be revealed, but Mascara stated that deputies often deal with "stress" and reminded people that they are only human.
He continued: "While it's 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."
Osteen, a retired US Marine with the 3rd Battalion and Pacheco had their first child in mid-November.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please make use of these critical resources:
- Samaritans - 116 123
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - 0800 58 58 58, or use webchat
- Shout Crisis Text Line – Text "SHOUT" to 85258
- NHS - 111
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