ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - Members of the Florida law enforcement community are grieving after losing two of their own to suicide within days of each other, leaving behind a 1-month-old son.
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara announced the deaths of Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco on social media Tuesday.
On New Year's Eve, shortly before midnight, deputies responded to a call that Deputy Osteen, who was off-duty as the time, attempted to take his own life. He was taken to a hospital, where his family decided to take him off life support on Jan. 2.
Deputy Pacheco, who shared a 1-month-old son with Deputy Osteen, took her own life in the wake of Deputy Osteen's death, the statement says.
Sheriff Mascara said he saw the two deputies as "young, ambitious and a great compliment" to his already amazing group of professionals.
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"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 well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis," Mascara said.
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If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).
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