Bernice Bartolini, Victoria Pacheco‘s grandmother, is speaking out about the tragic loss of her granddaughter. She took to Facebook and called the devastating double suicide a true “Romeo and Juliet love story.”
She said, “My heart is so sad I thought I was hurting before I lost my beautiful granddaughter tragic Romeo and Juliet story, 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.”
According to Bartolini, she was very close with Pacheco when they both lived in Florida, and she wished she could have helped her out during this troubling time. In an earlier post, the grandmother mentioned that it felt like she was watching someone else’s life through a movie, and she couldn’t understand the pain she felt.
Victoria Pacheco’s death made national headlines this week when it was discovered that her and her partner, Clayton Osteen, took their own lives within days of each other. Both Pacheco and Osteen were deputies for the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, and they left behind a 1-month-old baby named Jayce.
A GoFundMe page, set up for the 1-month-old son, has raised over $52,000 for the boy’s future. The page says that close relatives will adopt the baby. At the moment, Jayce is being taken care of by Clayton Osteen’s brother, who is also a deputy for the St. Lucie County department.
The department is asking for any baby donations to be sent to their office, including diapers, food, wipes, and gift cards that can be used to buy supplies for Victoria Pacheco’s son.
According to her obituary, Pacheco was a fun-spirited and amazing woman. Those close to her called her Tori and she “was a confident, strong willed, and fearless young woman. She was always up for an adventure.” The 23-year-old loved horseback riding, art, her dogs, and most importantly, her son, Jayce.
She joined the St. Lucie County police force in 2020 and had recently been celebrated after she saved someone’s life. The individual was overdosing on drugs when Pacheco saved their life.
The father of her child, Clayton Osteen, joined the police force in 2019 and was awarded the Deputy of the Year award in 2020. Before that, he was a member of the U.S. Marines and had served since 2015. Friends of the 24-year-old called him funny, an amazing person to be around, and someone you could always count on.
“Clayton was one hell of a funny guy, someone you could always count on in the time of need and loved being an uncle. He absolutely adored his significant other and mother of his child. But of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of being a dad,” said his loved ones.
According to reports, the horrifying double suicide happened on New Year’s Eve. Police officers were called to Osteen’s home, and it was discovered that the 24-year-old had tried to take his own life. He was rushed to the hospital and his family took him off of life support the next day.
Victoria Pacheco killed herself two days later after hearing about the death of her partner. It is unclear what led to both deputies killing themselves, but Sheriff Ken Mascara believes that mental health issues had something to do with it.
After their deaths, the sheriff released a statement. He said, “Words cannot express the tremendous loss we all feel after losing these two members of our sheriff’s office family. 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.”
Florida governmental officials have started to fund more mental health support for first responders and their families so something like this doesn’t happen again.