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Suspect in Greg Lynn Jewelers Heist Found Hanging in Florida Hospital Flagler Bathroom

| September 13, 2016

suicide florida hospital flagler

The apparent suicide took place the bathroom of Room 2115 at Florida Hospital Flagler the evening of Sept. 9. (© FlaglerLive)

Two days after checking into Floria Hospital Flagler, Craig Anthony Chavez, the 52-year-old Palm Coast resident arrested in late June for the alleged robbery of a jewelry store, was found dead in his hospital room’s bathroom of an apparent suicide.

Chavez, a resident of Reinhardt Lane in Palm Coast, where he’d previously lived with a girlfriend of 17 years and her son, to whom he was a father figure, had checked into the hospital on Sept. 7 with chest pains. He was scheduled to be discharged on Sept. 10. On Sept. 9, he asked a nurse if he could take a shower. He was told it was against doctor’s orders as he would have to disconnect the monitoring equipment on his chest.

At 8:48 p.m., according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s incident report, a patient care technician checked in on Chavez, who was staying in room 2115, to check on his blood sugar. The technician noticed Chavez had left his bed and removed his monitoring equipment. (The report does not indicate why the removal of the equipment had not triggered an alert on nurses’ monitors.) The technician noticed Chavez was apparently in the bathroom, with his door clkosed and a light on.

“She left the room for a few minutes as it was presumed he was using the bathroom,” the report states. “She then returned approximately 10 minutes later and noticed he was still in the bathroom.” Another nurse was notified. The two nurses knocked on the bathroom door, asking if Chavez was ok. He did not respond. They tried opening the bathroom door. It was locked. “They were able to retrieve a tool to unlock the door and opened it,” the report continues. “They found
Craig Chavez hanging by the neck from a white bed sheet from the mounted curtain rod of the shower.” He was not conscious.

They both grabbed him to pull him up to remove tension from his neck, untying the sheet and moving him to the floor to begin CPR. He had no pulse. He was moved to a bed and intubated, but did not recover. He was pronounced dead at 9:18 p.m.

The sheriff’s investigative services division was notified and responded to the scene, as did the medical examiner, who removed the body.

craig chavez suicide florida hospital flagler

Craig Chavez.

“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to those affected by this very sad incident,” Lindsay Cashio, a Florida Hospital Flagler spokeswoman, said today. “The safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff remains our highest priority.”

Chavez had had a troubled year, starting in February, when he was involved in a violent altercation with his then-girlfriend and her teen-age son. He’d been drinking, and, according to the account to police of his 40-year-old girlfriend at the time, had attacked her with a knife and threatened to kill her when she and her 17-year-old son restrained him, and he cut the 17-year-old’s leg with the knife during the altercation. The cut eventually required stitches, but was not deep. Chavez was charged with two counts of aggravated assault-domestic violence. The charges were dropped.

On June 28, Greg Lynn Jewelers, the store in Palm Coast’s Flagler Plaza, was the target of an early-morning burglary. The burglary suspect had used a Saturn that was captured in surveillance video sharply enough that its tag was readable. It led back to Chavez’s girlfriend and their house in the R Section, where Chavez himself, according to his arrest report, brought out items that had been reported stolen at Greg Lynn’s. He was arrested and charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor. That case was making its way through court. On July 25, Chavez pleaded not guilty. The case was scheduled for a pre-trial on Oct. 5 before Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman.

Chavez’s suicide is the latest in a series of suicides that since mid-August. It is at least the fifth suicide in four weeks, the second by hanging. In Flagler, the number of suicides annually have ranged from a total of six to a total of 20, over the past 10 years.

14 Responses for “Suspect in Greg Lynn Jewelers Heist Found Hanging in Florida Hospital Flagler Bathroom”

  1. Dazed and Confused. says:

    Wow this place is murder,suicide and grand theft haven.

  2. Oh WOW says:

    How sad. Most people do not want to pay for their crimes and be sent to prison. Death is a better alternative in their mind. Prayers for Flagler County. We need Help ASAP.

  3. Geezer says:

    The departed is a fellow that I’ve encountered at some point. His face is unforgettable.
    I extend my sympathies to those who cared for him.

  4. Gordon Jacobson says:

    This guy seems from what I read in this article, and if the complete truth needed to be in prison from his actions. I hate that people do this to themselves, and maybe with the right help he could have changed for the better, BUT in saying that he is one less person attacking people again with knives or anything else he could have got his hands on.
    So I say i wish people would have talked to him, because he obviously needed professional help mentally to go that far to kill himself, and generic doctors do not care whether that is a possibility or not. They just take your blood work, and urine tests and that is it. Maybe look at a BMI chart and say you are to fat and that is them doing their jobs!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    He was on a heart monitor and the staff did not respond when it was disconnected? That certainly is comforting to any heart patient who may be considering treatment at Florida Hospital Flagler!

  6. Coyote says:

    ‘Lindsay Cashio, a Florida Hospital Flagler spokeswoman, said today. “The safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff remains our highest priority.” ‘ …

    If this is true (or even really meant as opposed to ‘standard’ response) then what is the answer to this?:

    “The technician noticed Chavez had left his bed and removed his monitoring equipment. (The report does not indicate why the removal of the equipment had not triggered an alert on nurses’ monitors.) “

  7. palmcoaster says:

    No decent paid jobs, no income, high homelessness and of course high suicide rate!! But sure our taxes here go to benefit developers, outsourcing and the well connected instead.

  8. 30 year resident says:

    Maybe we all as citizens in this community really need to think about pushing some sort of a broader mental health and aggressive addiction counseling/prevention. We have few a more generations coming up who will unfortunately take the departed place.

  9. Born and Raised Here says:

    In all my years of living here, I have never heard of so many folks with so many mental issues. What attract these folks to our beautiful little piece of heaven, only to end their life in a self inflicted way. Sad.

  10. r&r says:

    Maybe it’s the way he was treated at the hospital.

  11. Johnny says:

    He was a good man. His friends and family will miss him.

  12. Kelly says:

    Thank you Johnny. We appreciate your kind words.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How could this man remove a hospital heart monitor and no one take notice? This needs to be investigated. If I were a potential heart patient, this story alone would be enough to make me think twice before being taken to the Flagler Hospital in Palm Coast, if I was in a position to speak up on my own behalf and make a choice of where to obtain serious treatment.

  14. Anonymous 2 says:

    Why does this not surprise me after having been a patient in this hospital several times this year…staff is suppose to do hourly rounds, but how many times did they not come in my room yet come by and initial for 4-5 hours at once…I was on breathing treatments at my request, yet when I could not breathe and put on my call light I waited 8 minutes for someone to answer at which point I had the phone in my hand to call 911…then the nurse in charge yells at me to calm down cause my heart rate was 180 from shortness of breath…I told ger to get the fuck out of my room…then my heart monitor went off sometimes they checked on me, sometimes not…how many times did a nurse come in messing with my IV and not wear gloves or cap it off to avoid infection until I spoke up…now, why would the PCT not ask this man who had taken off his heart monitor and was in the bathroom if he was ok thru the door…he could have had a heart attack and been on the bathroom floor…why did they need a tool to open the door when as an employee I was told all doors had easy open locks just installed a couple years ago for just this problem…that’s Florida Hospital for you!!!!

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