New York Trash Chute Death Subject of Nicholas Prychodko Lawsuit Who Says Hitman Killed His Daughter newsusface

The father of a woman who died after falling 27-stories down a trash chute at a luxury New York apartment now says she was murdered by her husband and an unidentified hit-man.

Nicholas Prychodko made the allegations in a lawsuit filed in a New York civil court this week, obtained by The Daily Beast. In the suit, he claims his daughter, Lara Prychodko was strangled in 2018 by her husband, David Schlachet, in a “brutal act” that was carefully planned.

The couple was going through an acrimonious divorce at the time, the lawsuit claims, and Schlachet faced losing millions of dollars. A month before Prychodko’s death, the lawsuit says, Schlachet, a wealthy construction boss, met with a hitman and offered to pay him to kill his wife.

Prychodko’s horrific death was investigated by the NYPD at the time, but the police concluded that it was a tragic accident.

At the time of her death, Prychodko, then 48, was living in an upscale apartment in the Zeckendorf Towers on Union Square. She was last seen entering the elevator of the building at 4.10 p.m. on July 10, 2018. Only 45 minutes later, her body was discovered in the garbage compactor. She had fallen 27 stories and plunged to her death.

Barbara Sampson, the chief medical examiner, concluded that Prychodko had died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries and was extremely intoxicated at the time of her death.

“The circumstances around the death are unclear; however there is no suspicion of foul play,” she said, according to the New York Post.

Her father always doubted that version of events. Mr. Prychodko sought out the help of Dr. Michael Baden, former New York City chief medical examiner. Baden reviewed the autopsy, crime scene photos, X-rays and lab tests, according to the New York Post. He concluded that Lara Prychodko “may have died because of homicidal ligature strangulation and was then placed in the garbage chute,” according to a letter viewed by the newspaper in 2018.

“I’ve never seen a drunk person be able to go into a narrow chute and go feet first down 27 stories, that’s extremely unusual,” Dr. Baden later told FOX5.

Now, Prychodko says software installed on his daughter’s laptop allowed Schlachet to track her every move. When his daughter arrived home that afternoon in 2018, his suit claims, a hit-man hired by her husband was waiting for her on the 27th floor. There the hitman attacked her, strangling her to death, before he “disposed of her body down the building’s trash chute,” the suit alleges. “Schlachet was present at the scene or in or near Zeckendorf Towers at the time of the murder,” the suit claims.

Schlachet owed more than $3.4 million to creditors at the time of the divorce, the New York Post reported in 2020. His company, Taocon Inc, had declared bankruptcy two years earlier. The couple were also battling over numerous expensive properties, including two homes in Southampton, an apartment in Chelsea, a penthouse in Williamsburg and a loft in Toronto.

No criminal charges have ever been filed against Schlachet in relation to Prychodko’s death. The lawyer who represented Schlachet in a previous case brought against him by Prychodko did not respond to a request for comment.

Prychodko’s father is suing for wrongful death and is seeking “damages in an amount to be determined at trial” and to remove Schlachet as a beneficiary of his daughter’s estate.

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