The two St. Lucie County deputies who committed suicide hours apart, leaving behind a 1-month-old son, were honored for their life-saving good works.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to “build a brighter future” for the couple’s orphaned son, Jayce Osteen.
St. Lucie County Deputy Clayton Osteen, 24, died Jan. 2 and Deputy Victoria Pacheco took her life “in the wake of Deputy Osteen’s death,” Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement this week.
Former Marine, Osteen was awarded Deputy of the Year in 2020, a year after joining the department, WPTV reported, citing his personnel records.
He also saved someone’s life after performing CPR on a person who overdosed on drugs, according to our news partner.
Pacheco, 23, who joined the force in 2020, received an award last year for her involvement in also saving someone who overdosed on drugs, the station added.
In his statement, Mascara said his office responded to a call just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and found that Osteen, who was off duty, had tried to kill himself.
“Tragically, for reasons completely unknown and totally out of character, Clayton took his own life December 31st, 2021. Reeling from the shock of loss, Victoria took her own life two days later,” it continues.
His family removed him from life support Sunday, Mascara said. On Tuesday, the office learned of Pacheco’s suicide, although the sheriff didn’t specify when she died.
On Wednesday, the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his administration has taken steps to support first responders.