Grandma Speaks Out After Fla. Deputy Died Following Partner's Death, Leaving Behind Their Baby

Florida sheriff's deputies Clayton Osteen, 24, and Victoria Pacheco, 23, died by suicide within days of each other

Victoria Pacheco's grandmother is remembering the late Florida sheriff's deputy as a "wonderful person" after Pacheco died by suicide following the suicide death of the father of her newborn son.

"I am so proud of my granddaughter for the short time she was here," Pacheco's grandmother, Bernice Bartolini, wrote in a Facebook post on Jan. 4, the same day the 23-year-old deputy died by suicide.

Bartolini said her granddaughter was a "wonderful person" who "made a big difference."

"I am missing her so much," Bartolini added.

Pacheco's death came two days after her partner, fellow St. Lucie County Sheriff's Deputy Clayton Osteen, 24, was taken off life support following his own suicide attempt. The couple left behind a 1-month-old son named Jayce, who is being adopted by a "close family member," according to a GoFundMe campaign set up for their baby.

"My heart is so sad I thought I was hurting before I lost my beautiful granddaughter," Bartolini wrote in another social media post, which included a picture of Pacheco smiling while holding her son.

"They are now together forever this loss is so painful for everyone so please be kind and watch your family keep them close to your heart," she continued, while comparing the couple's deaths to a Shakespearean tragedy.

Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco
Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco. gofundme

"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," added Bartolini, whom PEOPLE has contacted for comment. "Her Mom and Dad need our prayers."

In a statement following Pacheco and Osteen's deaths, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara described the couple as "young" and "ambitious."

Despite their strengths, Mascara said the couple was "human just like us" and subject to the intense pressures that come with the job.

"Law enforcement deal with not only the day-to-day stress we all face but also the stress of those whom they serve in our community, which can sometimes be very challenging," he explained.

In 2021, 130 law enforcement officers in the United States died by suicide, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit that tracks suicide deaths amongst officers. The number increases to 167 when accounting for corrections officers, dispatchers, EMS personnel and firefighters.

Five suicide deaths among law enforcement officers have already been recorded by the organization just a week into January 2022.

Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco
Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco's son Jayce. gofundme

"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 around mental well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis," Mascara shared in his statement.

According to their online obituaries, Osteen and Pacheco will both be laid to rest at a church in Florida on Saturday.

There are two ways to help provide for baby Jayce in the future: the GoFundMe and via the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office by adding "Jayce Osteen" in the notes section.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to

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