Grandmother calls suicides of Florida deputies ‘tragic’

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Grandmother calls suicides of Florida deputies 'tragic'

The grandmother of a Florida deputy who took her life days after her fellow cop boyfriend killed himself – leaving their newborn an orphan – likened the double suicide to a “tragic Romeo and Juliet story.”

“My heart is so sad I thought I was hurting before I lost my beautiful granddaughter,” St. Lucie County Deputy Victoria 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.”

Pacheco, 23, killed herself two days after the father of her child, Deputy Clayton Osteen, died on Jan. 2.

Bernice Bartolini and Victoria Pacheco
Bartolini said “my heart is so sad” following the death of her granddaughter.
Facebook / Bernice Bartolini

Osteen, 24, who served in the US Marines, was awarded Deputy of the Year in 2020, a year after joining the department, WPTV reported, citing his personnel records.

He also saved someone’s life after performing CPR on a person who overdosed on drugs, according to the news outlet.

Pacheco, who joined the force in 2020, received an award last year for her involvement in also saving someone who overdosed on drugs, the station added.

Victoria Pacheco
Pacheco and Osteen leave behind their baby Jayce.
Facebook / Bernice Bartolini

“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.

“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 continues.

Sheriff Ken Mascara said this week that his office responded to a call just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and found that Osteen, who was off duty, had tried to kill himself.

Clayton Osteen
Osteen served in the US Marines.
Ray Tourville/Facebook

His family removed him from life support Sunday, Mascara said. On Tuesday, the office learned of Pacheco’s suicide.

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