BREAKING NEWS: Orange City cop found dead in Daytona Beach surf - Sgt. Kelly Jo Brubaker victim of apparent suicide

Photos for Headline Surfer / Orange City Police Sgt. Kelly Jo Brubaker, is shown with Deputy Chief Wayne Miller in this Dec, 6, 2017 photo op. Brubaker took her own life during the early evening hours of Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Her body was found in the surf at the World's Most Famous Beach, in Daytona.

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- An Orange City police sergeant who had overcome a battle with leukemia several years back was found dead overnight in the surf - of an apparent suicide by gunshot to the head.

The deceased cop is 12-year veteran Kelly Jo Brubaker, 49. Her death is being investigated by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

"She called someone saying she was gonna kill herself and this is where they could find her," a trusted source in law enforcement told Headline Surfer on condition of anonymity. 

Orange City Police Lt. Jason Sampsell confirmed Brubaker had been found overnight on the beach. He declined to provide any specifics on what may have caused the fallen officer to take her own life. He did say it was not related to the leukemia she had been afflicted with several years earlier. 

A second trusted source told Headline Surfer Brubaker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the vicinity of Sunsplash Park, but he was not certain if the gun was her department-issued gun or one of her own.  

She called someone saying she was gonna kill herself and this is where they could find her," a trusted source in law enforcement told Headline Surfer on condition of anonymity. 

A second trusted source told Headline Surfer Brubaker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the vicinity of Sunsplash Park, but he was not certain if the gun was her department-issued gun or one of her own.  

Orange City Police Lt. Jason Sampsell declined to provide any specifics on what may have caused the fallen officer to take her own life. He did say it was not related to the leukemia she had been afflicted with several years earlier. He declined to confirm gunfire as the cause of death.

"That's just not something we are going to get into," Sampsell said, adding the fallout of Brubaker's sudden passing is the reality of the situation at hand today.

The police spokesman said grief counselors were being made available to comfort any and all among the 27 sworn personnel led by Chief of Police Peter C. Thomas.

Sampsell directed any follow-up questions from Headline Surfer to the city's PIO, Danielle Fitzpatrick. She referred the Central Florida internet news outlet to a statement that had just been posted on the Orange City PD's Facebook page by the department's second in comment. It reads as follows: 

FROM THE DESK OF DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF WAYNE MILLER: 
It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that the Orange City Police Department announce the unexpected passing of one of our police officers early Tuesday evening - Sergeant Kelly Jo Brubaker. Kelly started with OCPD in July of 2007. She served as a patrol officer for 4 years before being promoted to sergeant in November of 2011. She was an asset to the police department and served in her position with honor and distinction. Additionally, Kelly was an adjunct instructor for the Daytona State College instructing other law enforcement personnel. Chief Miller of OCPD stated: “The men and women of the Orange City Police Department are stunned by the unexpected death of our dear friend and co-worker Sergeant Kelly Brubaker. Kelly was very well liked and respected as a knowledgeable and experienced police officer. She had mentored many younger officers and served as a role model for all. The Orange City Police Department already greatly misses Kelly Jo. The police department appreciates the outpouring of support from those in the community that heard about our loss. Please keep Kelly Jo, her family and all the members of the Orange City Police and law enforcement community in your prayers as we grieve this most unfortunate loss.”
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.