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2 St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office deputies take their own lives

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 22:18:04-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Two St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office deputies have taken their own lives.

Sheriff Ken Mascara announced the deaths of Deputy Clayton Osteen and Deputy Victoria Pacheco on Tuesday.

Mascara said Osteen tried to kill himself shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve. His family removed him from life support Sunday.

The sheriff said Pacheco, after learning of Osteen's death, took her own life. Mascara said Osteen and Pacheco shared a 1-month-old son.

"Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff's office family," Mascara said in a statement. "As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious and a great compliment to my already amazing group of professionals. 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."

Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide is encouraged to call 211 or the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK.