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Florida deputies who shared an infant child took their own lives, their sheriff said

A 1-month-old baby boy has been orphaned and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office is in mourning. Both of the child’s parents, deputies with the sheriff’s office, took their own lives late last week and early this week.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara announced the deaths of Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco on Tuesday via social media.

Mascara wrote “it is impossible for us to fully comprehend” what was happening in Osteen and Pacheco’s private life.

“As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious and a great complement to my already amazing group of professionals,” Mascara said. “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.

“Law enforcement deal with not only the day-to-day stress we all face, but also the stress of those whom they serve in our community, which can sometimes be very challenging.”

According to Mascara, the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office went to a call on Friday just before midnight and the end of 2021, on which they learned Osteen had tried to take his own life. Osteen’s family removed him from life support Sunday.

On Tuesday morning, Mascara said, the department learned that Pacheco “took her own life in the wake of Deputy Osteen’s death.”

Self harm, especially to the point of taking your own life, is never a good answer to life problems. If you feel like self harm, talk to someone or several someones. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 800-273-TALK (8255), is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in emotional distress.

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