Woman found dead in trash compactor identified

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan — A woman whose body was found inside a trash compactor at her Union Square apartment building has been identified Wednesday.

Police identified the deceased as Lara Prychenko, 48, of Manhattan.

A maintenance worker found the body found shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday inside a trash compactor at 1 Irving Place, where Prychenko lived, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives are investigating Prychenko's death as an accident, though an autopsy will determine the woman's official cause of death.

Prychenko was described by a doorman at the building as someone who was always pleasant and treated them with respect.

Law enforcement sources told PIX11 News that property belonging to Prychenko was found inside the compact room, though it's unknown exactly how she got inside or what took place.

She'd arrived home only a few minutes before her body was found.

Surveillance video shows her walking the hallways before entering the trash room. She appears to have gone down the trash chute from the 27th floor where she lived down into the compactor.

Neighbors said they're not sure how that could have happened, saying "it's a small chute."

PIX11 News' Nicole Johnson contributed to this report.