‘Perfect, heavenly gift’: Wife of deputy killed in the line of duty gives birth to baby girl

Jessica Aldridge announced the birth of Claire Austin Aldridge on Feb. 21.
Jessica Aldridge announced the birth of Claire Austin Aldridge on Feb. 21.(Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 4:44 PM CST
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WHNS/Gray News) - The wife of a fallen South Carolina deputy gave birth to the couple’s first child Tuesday.

Jessica Aldridge, the wife of Spartanburg County Deputy Austin Aldridge, announced the birth of Claire Austin Aldridge in a Facebook post on Feb. 21.

“[Claire] is so precious and the perfect, heavenly gift,” the family said in a Facebook post. “She is the answer to our many prayers. While we experience a roller coaster of emotions, we are so thankful for this sweet miracle. She is the perfect mix of her mommy and daddy. She even has his little chin.”

Deputy Austin Aldridge was killed while responding to a call for a domestic disturbance on June 21, 2022, according to WHNS.

Austin Aldridge had responded to a report of an assault on a woman. When he knocked on the suspect’s door to ask about the report, the suspect reportedly shot Austin Aldridge in the head.

The suspect then took Austin Aldridge’s keys and drove his car away from the scene. Police eventually confronted the suspect, engaging in a shootout with him before eventually capturing him and charging him on multiple counts.

Austin Aldridge was taken to the hospital where he later died.

The family said life has been very different without Austin Aldridge and they are adapting to a new normal. However, they said Claire has brought “new joy and reasons to smile.”