Oh My Dear God……

St Lucie County Deputies Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco.

This is one of those posts that have us stunned.

The headline says it all and yet says nothing.

Baby orphaned after parents, both Florida deputies, take their own lives

Deputy Clayton Osteen was 24 years old. He had served in the US Marine Corps. In 2020 he was named Deputy of the Year for St. Lucie County and was cited for saving the life of an overdose victim. He had a beautiful soul mate, a new child and a lifetime of memories ahead of him.

On New Years Eve, Osteen, for reasons that have not been disclosed, attempted suicide. A few days later, his family made the decision to take him off of life support.

Deputy Victoria Pacheco was given a citation in 2021 for saving another person who had overdosed on drugs.

With the loss of Osteen, Pacheco made the decision to take her own life as well days later.

The couple left a one month old son named Jayce Osteen.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara released this statement on Facebook:

Far too often we as a society talk about the bad cops in this world. While we wish we didn’t have to do that it is part of what is happening in the world today. However, that doesn’t mean that all cops are bad. A young man who served his country and a couple that saved the lives of others are not bad cops. They are not bad people.

Yet far too many people say that they are because they wear a badge.

We are all facing terrible pressure about our lives and the uncertainty of the future.

We look at our friends and smile. We look at our families in love. We avoid situations that make us unhappy or ill at ease.

Cops don’t have that luxury.

Generally speaking, no one is happy to see a cop. Whether it is because they are pulling people over, or have been called to a store because of a robbery, dealing with drunks and beligerant people, or stepping in between fights in domestic situations, cops see the worst in people.

Day in and day out, they see the worst. Sometimes the worst want to see cops killed and rejoice when one dies.

The mental weight must be overwhelming and crushing for the soul.

We look at the pictures of Osteen and Pacheco and see someone who forget to smile, and someone whose smile would light up a room.

The above picture of Jayce shows an innocence that will someday be shattered. He will wonder where his birth parents are and will have to be told of their deaths and the surrounding circumstances.

We don’t envy him hearing the story and we don’t envy the people who will have to tell him the story.

For now, it is enough to know that the community is rallying around Jayce as communities are known to do.

While he may not grow up with the love of his biological parents, he will be loved by many – including those who wear a badge.

Two bright lights that were extinguished.

It didn’t have to be that way.

While we mourn and shake our heads at these two people taking their lives, we acknowledge that there are others who are looking at doing the same thing.

It doesn’t have to be that way for them either.

We know of several people who have taken their lives and while their pain may be over, there is a hole in the world – a missing piece of the universal jigsaw puzzle – that cannot be replaced. While it is a given that suicide negatively and horrifically impacts those that are left behind, to tell people that killing themselves will only harm others will make them feel worse.

Everyone’s life is important. People need to know and understand that extinguishing their light only makes the world a darker place and we want – we need – their light in our lives.

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text a crisis counselor at 741741 or visit

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