Married deputies who died days apart laid to rest together – Today.com

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This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco, married deputies from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, were laid to rest together on Saturday, January 8 after both died by suicide two days apart last week.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office shared a Facebook post on Saturday with photos from the somber service. The photos were accompanied by a heartfelt message written by Sheriff Ken J. Mascara, reading in part, “Today we say goodbye to our brother and sister, Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco. May you rest in peace.”
“We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and love from our fellow law enforcement agencies and the community,” the message concluded. 
Mascara announced the tragic news in a Facebook past on Tuesday, January 4 mourning the loss of two of the county’s deputies. In the statement, he said that Osteen, 24, died on January 2 when he was taken off of life support after a suicide attempt made on New Year’s Eve. Pacheco, 23, died by suicide two days later.
“As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great complement to my already amazing group of professionals,” Mascara recalled of Osteen and Pacheco. 
The sheriff cited the importance of mental health within his statement, writing, “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.”
The couple shared one child together, a one-month-old son, Jayce Osteen. A GoFundMe page created by a friend of Osteen said that the infant would be adopted “by a close family member.”
Osteen, a Florida native, served in the United States Marine Corp, according to his obituary. He became a Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy in 2019 and during that time, became a SWAT team member, Deputy of the Quarter, and was awarded Deputy of the Year in 2020.
Pacheco became a deputy in 2020. She was remembered in her obituary for being a “confident, strong willed, and fearless young woman,” her artistic abilities, and her love of adventure, including surfing, hiking and sky-diving.
Francesca Gariano is a New York City-based freelance journalist reporting on culture, entertainment, beauty, lifestyle and wellness. She is a freelance contributor to TODAY.com, where she covers pop culture and breaking news.
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