A one-month-old baby has been left orphaned after both his police officer parents died within days of each other.
Officers of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department received reports of an attempted suicide on New Year’s Eve. When they arrived, they learned that the person involved was Clayton Osteen, a deputy who had served with them since 2019, according to Mail Online.
In a statement, county sheriff Ken Mascara wrote that Osteen was rushed to hospital but his family decided to turn his life support off two days later.
Only one day after Osteen’s death, his partner Victoria Pachecho, took her own life, leaving their one-month-old baby orphaned.
“Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff’s office family,” Mascara wrote.
Officials haven’t released further details about the circumstances and nature of their deaths but Mascara said that deputies often suffer from ‘stress.’
“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,” Mascara said.
The couple just welcomed their first child, a son, in mid-November.
Family and friends have shared tributes on social media. Osteen’s friend Ray Tourville wrote on Facebook: “A true brother lost his internal battle.
“I struggle with finding the words to write that even remotely does him justice. I’m incredibly sorry that you felt this was your only option.”
One person commented: “Absolutely tragic. I hope the little one will be looked after and always surrounded by love.”
Another wrote: “RIP. Each of these two are now gone, but never forgotten. Fair winds and following seas to both.”
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