The man first attempted suicide, and was rushed to the hospital where he was on life support. He was taken off it two days later, following which his partner ended her life.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses suicide that may be disturbing to readers.
Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco had just welcomed a baby boy into their lives six weeks ago. Both of them were St. Lucie County Sheriff deputies and things seemed to be going fine until they died by suicide in the first week of January 2022, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said.
According to PEOPLE, just before midnight on New Year's Eve, authorities received a call that Osteen had attempted suicide. He was rushed to the hospital and put on life support, but there was not much hope. On January 2, 2022, Osteen's family decided to remove him from life support, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Unable to bear the loss of her partner, Pacheco also died by suicide, the Sheriff's department revealed. The deceased couple now leaves behind a 1-month-old son named Jayce.
"Clayton was one hell of a funny guy, someone you could always count on in the time of need, and loved being an uncle," his loved ones wrote in his obituary. "He absolutely adored his significant other and mother of his child. But of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of being a dad."
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara issued a statement on Tuesday, writing: "Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff's office family."
He continued, "As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great compliment to my already amazing group of professionals. 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."
Mascara then added that law enforcement often carries the weight of "the stress of those whom they serve", along with their own struggles. "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," Mascara concluded his statement.
As for little Jayce, a close relative will reportedly adopt the baby, according to 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: GoFundMe