Nurses find Flagler County man dead with wife lying on him inside hospital room

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A nurse told Daytona Beach police that when Henry Sochalski was found dead in his hospital bed, his wife, Jan Sochalski, was on top of him.

Sochaliski was found dead in his hospital bed May 19, police said.

Sochalski had been a patient at Florida Hospital since April, after back surgery in March, police said.

Sochalski was on the pain medication, Dilaudid, and was able to administer the medicine himself with a push of a button, police said. Nurses told investigators they saw his wife administer the medicine to her husband, investigators said.

Jan Sochalski is a retired nurse and was a nurse for more than 40 years, police said.

Nurses told Jan Sochalski to stop giving her husband the pain medicine, investigators said. The nurses said when they checked the medication machine, it was pressed 264 times in an eight-hour period. It should have only been pressed six times an hour, nurses told investigators.

The machine has a built-in safety mechanism that ensures the machine does not dispense more medication than the doctor prescribed, police said.

A nurse told police that Henry Sochalski went into respiratory and cardiac arrest April 9 and had been unresponsive since that date.

Jan Sochalski signed a “do not resuscitate” order on May 18, police said. That same day, a nurse told police that Sochalski’s wife would not let the nurses into his hospital room.

A nurse told police before Henry Sochalski died, his nose was “fine,” but when he was found dead, his nose was purple, police said.

Another nurse told investigators it appeared Sochalski was pinching her husband’s nose.

Another nurse told investigators she met Jan Sochalski a week before her husband died. The nurse said Jan Sochalski asked the nurse and doctor for Dilaudid and not any antibiotics that would make her husband get better, investigators said. Sochalski is also accused of asking for medications that would “decrease his respiratory status.”

Following Henry Sochalski’s death, a nurse told investigators Jan Sochalski seemed very rushed and said she needed her husband’s paperwork and a copy of his death certificate.

Jan Sochalski told investigators on the day her husband died, she knew the end was near and removed a humidifier from her husband’s throat area and laid on him because she “wanted to be close to him,” investigators said.

She said she began hugging her husband, then his heart monitor alerted the nurse’s station. The nurses responded, and he was declared dead.

Following an autopsy on Henry Sochalski, a medical examiner determined his death was a homicide.

Jan Sochalski told police she did not have any intention on suffocating her husband, nor did she or do anything that would have caused his death, police said.

Jan Sochalski has been charged with second-degree murder.

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