Deputy April Rodriguez, 43, had worked for the Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office for four years.
 - Photo: Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office

Deputy April Rodriguez, 43, had worked for the Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office for four years.

Photo: Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office

A Pasco County, FL, Sheriff's deputy and mother of three died by suicide Sunday morning, according to the agency, the latest in what Sheriff Chris Nocco called an epidemic of law enforcement suicides.

Deputy April Rodriguez, 43, had worked as a deputy for four years, Nocco said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Colleagues noticed Rodriguez didn't show up for work in the morning, attempted to contact her, then went to her apartment, where she was found dead, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Nocco said Rodriguez left behind three children, two of whom are minors, and her husband.

"She was a good person, with a great heart, and loved her children very much," he said. He also said she was a great deputy.

According to the non-profit BlueH.E.L.P.—an organization that tracks officer suicides while simultaneously seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring—there have been 37 law enforcement officers who have died by suicide so far in 2019.

Editor's Note: Any first responder approaching crisis is urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress.

Safe Call Now (1-206-459-3020) offers those services specifically for first responders.

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