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Hero Down: Escondido Police Officer Brett Byler Succumbs To Brain Cancer

Escondido, CA – Escondido Police Department (EPD) Officer Brett Byler died on Nov. 14 after a nearly two-year battle against brain cancer.

The 32-year-old officer was diagnosed with glioblastoma on Feb. 16, 2020, after doctors discovered a 5.5-centimeter tumor that had grown across the midline of his brain, the EPD said in a press release on Nov. 23.

Officer Byler underwent surgery just four days later and doctors were successfully able to remove a majority of the tumor.

“He fought courageously though numerous treatments all while spending as much time as he possibly could with his family and loved ones,” the EPD said.

Officer Byler passed away at home on Nov. 14, just one day before his daughter’s third birthday, according to a fundraising page established to help his family.

He leaves behind his wife, Mariah, and their three young daughters, Bellamy, Barrett, and Brynlee, the EPD said.

Officer Byler, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served as a police officer with the Department of Defense and the San Diego Police Department prior to joining the EPD.

He became a member of the agency’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Unit in 2017, and was chosen as a school resource officer in 2019.

EPD Chief Edward Varso described him as “an outstanding police officer.”

“Brett will always be remembered for his love of police work and his phenomenal sense of humor,” Chief Varso said in the department’s press release. “Brett LOVED being a cop!”

Donors have contributed more than $147,000 to the Byler family’s fundraising page so far.

Officer Byler was laid to rest on Nov. 23.

“We look forward to continuing to support the family in the years to come, and make sure that the little girls know growing up that their dad was incredibly talented,” Chief Varso told KMFB. “He was a great police officer, just a great man.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Escondido Police Department Officer Brett Byler, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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