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Newborn Orphaned After Cop Parents Die By Suicide Within Days Of One Another

Photo: GoFundMe
newborn orphaned after cop parents die

A one-month-old baby was orphaned just a few weeks after being born.

Baby Jayce’s parents, Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco, died within days of each other after committing suicide. They were both Sheriff’s Deputies at St. Lucie County in Florida. 

After being unable to handle Osteen’s suicide, his girlfriend, Pacheco, ended her own life as well, leaving behind their child.

Both of their deaths have left everyone in shock. Family and friends of Osteen and Pacheco are still grieving over their losses and what the future holds for baby Jayce.



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Osteen ended his life on New Year’s Eve.

On January 4, Sheriff Ken J. Mascara announced on Facebook that both officers had passed away.

“Today, the members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office carry the burden of a very heavy heart as we share with you the tragic passing of two of our deputies: Deputy Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco,” the post said.

Sheriff Ken J. Mascara then shared, "On New Year's Eve, shortly before midnight, our agency responded to a call where we learned that Deputy Osteen, who was off duty at the time, attempted to take his own life."

He was then taken to the hospital in hopes to save him; however, he didn't survive. Osteen’s family took him off of life support two days later: "On Sunday, January 2, Deputy Osteen's family made the very difficult decision to remove him from life support."

A couple of days after that, Pacheco ended her life. "This morning we learned that Deputy Pacheco, who shared a one-month-old son with Deputy Osteen, took her own life in the wake of Deputy Osteen's death," said the post.

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There was nothing but praise for both Osteen and Pacheco.

Mascara commended them for their work and their presence to his team, saying, “As a Sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great complement to my already amazing group of professionals.”

As it is difficult to know what led Osteen to take such a difficult decision despite having family, Mascara shed light on their experiences as members of law enforcement, writing, "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.”

While he still grieves the terrible loss, he hopes it will bring some change in how everyone views mental health.

“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.”

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Friends and family have started a GoFundMe page for baby Jayce.

A GoFundMe page was created for the one-month-old Jayce by Kelly Ridle, a friend of Osteen's. Riddle added in her post that Osteen was a SWAT member and served in the Marine Corps.

She described them as “joy-filled, first-time parents excited about their growing family, enamored with their baby Jayce, and so in love with each other.”

The fundraiser has already exceeded the goal of $10,000 and the donations are still ongoing.

In these tough times, everyone is wishing for support for the baby. Riddle also mentioned in her post that one of Osteen and Pacheco’s close relatives will be adopting Jayce.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or an immediate crisis, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.