ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A distressed grandmother of a Florida deputy who took her life days after her boyfriend and fellow deputy died by suicide likened the double suicide to a “tragic Romeo and Juliet story.” The deaths left the couple’s newborn an orphan.
St. Lucie County Deputy Victoria Pacheco, 23, killed herself two days after the father of her child, Deputy Clayton Osteen, 24, died by suicide on Jan. 2 after being on life support for two days, Law Officer reported.
“My heart is so sad I thought I was hurting before I lost my beautiful granddaughter,” Pacheco’s grandmother Bernice Bartolini wrote on Facebook.
“Tragic Romeo and Juliet story. They are now together forever,” she wrote. “This loss is so painful for everyone so please be kind and watch your family keep them close to your heart.”
Bartolini continued: “Victoria and I were very close when I lived in Florida, she was there for me. I wish I could have been there for her. My insides are being torn apart, my heart hurts so bad.”
In an earlier post, she said she felt like she was “watching someone else’s life in a movie, can’t grasp the reasoning for this pain.”
Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement on Tuesday, “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.”
Osteen was awarded Deputy of the Year in 2020, a year after joining the department. Prior to working as a deputy, he served in the United States Marine Corps, WPTV reported.
Citing his personnel records, the news outlet said he also saved someone’s life after performing CPR on a person who overdosed on drugs.
Pacheco joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2020. She also received a life saving award last year after someone overdosed on drugs, the station added.
“Clayton and Victoria were joy-filled, first-time parents excited about their growing family, enamored with their baby Jayce, and so in love with each other,” a statement says on a GoFundMe page for the child, according to the New York Post.
“Tragically, for reasons completely unknown and totally out of character, Clayton took his own life December 31st, 2021. Reeling from the shock of loss, Victoria took her own life two days later,” it says.