Zeckendorf Towers

Father of woman found dead in luxury apartment trash chute says she was murdered

The father of a woman who was found dead in a what initially appeared to be an accidental death insists that she was murdered.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lara Prychodko fell 27 floors to her death when she somehow fell into a trash chute in Zeckendorf Towers, a luxury Manhattan apartment building, late Tuesday afternoon.

Police told the New York Post that surveillance footage showed Prychodko, 48, stumbling out of an elevator on the 27th floor at about 4:20 in the afternoon, reportedly appearing drunk.

About half an hour later, a maintenance worker found Prychodko “crushed from multiple angles” in the trash compactor. 

Sources within the NYPD told the newspaper that they believe Prychodko jumped or fell, but her father is rejecting that explanation.

“She was brutally murdered in a sadistic way. She would have never done this to herself,” Nicholas Prychodko told the New York Post.

Calling the idea that she could have fallen into or intentionally jumped into a trash chute “preposterous,” Lara’s father said he couldn’t “get into the details of why circumstantially I’m convinced it wasn’t possible, because it’s part of an active investigation.”

He also said that he doesn’t believe his daughter would ever take her own life, and that she sounded upbeat the last time they spoke.

Prychodko was going through a contentious divorce with her husband David Christopher Schlachet, who reportedly operates a construction company. The couple was reportedly fighting over high-ticket assets and multiple properties.

The New York Post report detailing the terms of their separation suggests that Prychodko may have struggled with substance abuse. As part of her ongoing divorce settlement, Prychodko was required to submit to regular drug and alcohol testing, and had reportedly lost custody of her son.

Eric A. Seiff, an attorney who represented Prychodko, also said that she seemed upbeat when they last spoke, not long before her death.

The NYPD has reportedly said there is no evidence of a homicide, but they are continuing to investigate Prychodko’s death.