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Hero Down: Orange County Deputy Hunter Rothell Succumbs To Brain Cancer

Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy Hunter Rothell served the department since 2015.

Orange County, FL – Orange County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Hunter Rothell passed away on Oct. 10, following a 15-month battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Deputy Rothell, 29, was diagnosed with gliosarcoma, a “rare and aggressive type of brain cancer,” in July of 2017, he explained on a fundraising page established to help his family during his treatments.

He underwent brain surgery shortly after his diagnosis, but surgeons were not able to remove the tumor entirely.

After receiving traditional chemotherapy and radiation, Deputy Rothell participated in a clinical trial, which was originally planned to continue through October.

“Thankfully, and with the grace of God, my doctor has placed me in a clinical trial which has the potential keep me alive long enough to see my kids grow up,” the deputy said at the time.

“I am so thankful again for all the friends and family, and even the people who I don’t even know, who have helped me in so many ways,” he wrote in March.

Deputy Rothell’s law enforcement career began while he was attending Florida State University, according to his obituary.

He worked as a civilian public safety officer for the university, and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminology.

In 2011, after he successfully completed the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy in Havana, Florida, he joined the Florida Highway Patrol.

“He is a new employee who has a vast understanding of his duties and is a pleasure to supervise,” his supervisor said at the time, according to Deputy Rothell’s obituary.

In November of 2013, he joined the Metro Transit Police Department in Washington, DC, where he was assigned to the Anti-Terrorism Unit’s Mobile Explosives Training Team.

Deputy Rothell was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in November of 2015, and was assigned to Sector I midnight shifts.

He also served in Sector II, where he assisted the Robbery Unit with investigations.

Deputy Rothell, who obtained his private pilot’s license at the age of 16, aspired to fly helicopters for the department’s Aviation Unit.

“Hunter was an intelligent, capable and hardworking Deputy Sheriff who was known to get along with everyone,” his obituary read. “Because of his prior law enforcement experience, Hunter knew what needed to be done and was committed to helping his fellow squad members.”

Deputy Rothell “loved protecting [and] serving citizens,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet. “Most of all he loved his wife and two children. Rest in peace.”

Deputy Rothell married “the love of his life,” Mariana, in August of 2015, according to his obituary.

The couple have two young children, Aiden and Savannah.

He also leaves behind his parents, brothers, and many friends and co-workers.

Deputy Rothell was laid to rest on Oct. 13.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Orange County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Hunter Rothell, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

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

Holly Matkin - October Wed, 2018


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