Clayton Osteen was named deputy of the year and Pachecho was recognized for saving the life of someone who was overdosing on drugs in 2020. "He was most proud of being a dad," Osteen's obituary reads.
Clayton Osteen, 24, and Victoria Pacheco, were both St. Lucie County Sheriff deputies and shared a one-month-old child, Jayce. Both Osteen and Pacheco died by suicide within a week as confirmed in a statement by St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office. "Words cannot express the tremendous loss after losing these two members of our Sheriff’s Office family.", St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara wrote in the statement.
As per PEOPLE, authorities got a call shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve reporting that Osteen had attempted suicide. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. According to the Sheriff's Office, Osteen's family "made the very difficult decision to remove him from life support" on January 2. Pacheco also died by suicide in the aftermath of her partner's death, the Sheriff's Office discovered on Tuesday.
TRAGIC: Clayton Osteen reportedly shot himself on New Year's Eve; he was removed from life support the next day. Two days later, his distraught wife, Victoria Pacheco, killed herself. The Florida police officers were parents to a 1-month-old boy. #flapolhttps://t.co/nAe1CPtzBG— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 6, 2022
Osteen started working for the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office in 2019. According to his obituary, he was named deputy of the year in 2020. Pachecho joined the force in 2020 and she was recognized last year for saving the life of someone who was overdosing on drugs, per New York Daily News. The statement mentions, "As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great complement to my already amazing group of professionals."
The statement further said, "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."
Their loved ones are grieving their deaths and the loss their 1-month-old child, Jayce, is suffering from. They are also remembered lovingly by people who knew them closely. "Clayton was one hell of a funny guy, someone you could always count on in the time of need, and loved being an uncle. He absolutely adored his significant other and mother of his child. But of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of being a dad," the obituary reads.
This is exactly why our first responders need to seek help themselves. Just heartbreaking. 💔— LindaL (@ILIV4MY3) January 6, 2022
Their death is also being mourned by multiple law enforcement agencies and police departments across the state of Florida. "The men and women of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office send our most sincere condolences to the friends and families of Deputy Osteen and Deputy Pacheco, and to Sheriff Ken Mascara and the men and women who had the honor of working alongside these two deputies," a County Sheriff's Office commented on Mascara's statement.
Mascara, in his statement, says, "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."
As for little Jayce, he will now be adopted by a "close family member," per PEOPLE.
A GoFundMe has been set up in order to raise funds for the baby as well as for Osteen and Pacheco's funeral. They will be laid to rest together on Jan. 8 at a church in Florida.
Cover Image Source: Haisley Funeral Home
If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).