NYC socialite was ‘killed by a hitman’ hired by her husband who then dumped the body 27 floors down a trash chute of their upscale Times Square apt
Lara Prychodko’s father filed a new lawsuit claiming son-in-law killed his daughter to save himself ‘millions’ through divorce
Prychodko, 48, was found dead on July 10, 2018, at the bottom of a trash chute after plummeting from the 27the floor of the Zeckendorf Towers in NYC
Her father, Nicholas Prychodko, has maintained that she was murdered by her estranged husband David Schlachet, after he hired an assassin
The couple who shared a son couple were going through a contentious divorce and had been battling over their assets which included several pieces of real estate
NYC socialite Lara Prychodko [photo], was found dead on July 18, 2018, having fallen 27 floors down the chute, at her upscale apartment at Zeckendorf Towers in Union Square, while in the middle of a contentious divorce with her husband
The father of an NYC socialite who was found dead at the bottom of a trash chute has filed wrongful death lawsuit alleging that her estranged husband was financially motivated to hire a hitman to kill her. This the second suit filed by Nicholas Prychodko against David Schlachet in the five years since 48-year-old Lara Prychodko’s body was found 27 floors down the chute of the Zeckendorf Towers in Union Square, back in July 2018.
Her family is still looking for answers to her death of the mother-of-one in those bizarre circumstances.
New York City police ruled the death an accident, but Nicholas Prychodko always suspected foul play in the death of his daughter who was estranged in her marriage at the time.
NYPD investigators determined there was no foul in her death, but Nicholas Prychodko, [right], believes his daughter Lara Prychodko, [left], was murdered when she was discovered dead on July 10, 2018
The lawsuit alleges that her widower David Schlachet and another man only named as ‘John Doe’ had ‘conspired to and, through their concerted efforts, did, in fact, murder Lara Prychodko.’
Prychodko alleges his son-in-law ‘installed software on Lara’s computer to track her whereabouts,’ which allowed the hitman to wait for the right moment to strangle her to death and then dispose of her body down the building’s trash chute.
The couple had been going through an ‘acrimonious divorce,’ according to Prychodko who claims Schlachet was under ‘intense financial pressure’ and expected to lose as much as half of his approximately $6 million in assets.
While no criminal charges have been filed in Lara’s death, her father is hoping the wrongful death lawsuit will change that.
New York City police officers stand outside Zeckendorf Towers after Lara Prychodko was discovered dead at the bottom of the trash chute. The mystery remains how a woman who stands 5’10”, ended up falling through an 15 – 18″ chute, in the apt building
Schlachet’s attorney has denied the allegations made in the lawsuit, and claimed that the unidentified man is a ‘wholly fictitious person,’ according to NBC Dateline.
Schlachet himself expressed the depth of his personal loss in an email to Dateline two years later, stating that he and their son were still grieving the loss of wife and mother: ‘I can only say that my divorce -like so many- was a painful and sad experience to go through with someone I had loved so deeply.
‘But that does not diminish the grief and trauma our son and I have experienced by the tragic loss of our wife and mother, Lara.
‘It is a pain that we are both still learning to cope with and which we will both carry with us forever,’ Schlachet wrote in his 2020 statement.
The lawsuit alleges that Lara’s husband David Schlachet, [left], and another suspect identified only as ‘John Doe’ had conspired and through their concerted efforts, murdered Lara Prychodko, [right]
Investigators determined that Lara’s death was a tragic accident and the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner pronounced cause of death as ‘undetermined.’
‘The circumstances around the death are unclear; however there is no suspicion of foul play,’ the ME’s report states. The report also noted that she had a blood alcohol level of .29 at the time of her death.
However, grieving dad Nicholas Prychodko refuses to believe his daughter’s death was a drunken accident. He maintains that she was brutally killed on the night of July 10, 2018.
He told Dateline in 2020 that the trash chute at Zeckendorf Towers was around 15′ by 18′ with a door and that Lara was tall at 5’10’. Reason he believed it was implausible she would just fall in or even attempt that mode of suicide with her height.
‘I very quickly became convinced that there was only one plausible explanation for what took place. And that’s homicide,’ Prychodko told NBC
He has gone further to engage the services of former New York City medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden to sift through the case. Baden’s said Lara may not have accidentally fallen in the chute, the body showed signs of strangulation.
Security footage showed Lara Prychodko, reportedly intoxicated and stumbling, enter the Zeckendorf Towers building at 4:10pm on July 10, 2018, and getting onto the elevator alone. Minutes later she had fallen to her death though the chute on the 27th floor
This is the garbage chute that Lara Prychodko’s body fell down before landing in a trash compactor at 1 Irving Place in Manhattan’s Union Square
The chute is found inside the refuse closet in one of the floors of the luxury apartment building
Lara [photo], died less than a week after celebrating her birthday with friends in Europe. Court docs later revealed was ‘buried in debt.’ Her dad maintains she ‘was extremely sociable, with great interpersonal skills and networking skills which helped to make her so successful’
Lara died less than a week after celebrating her birthday with friends in Europe, despite court documents later revealing she was ‘buried in debt’.
The night she died security footage showed Lara, reportedly intoxicated and stumbling, entering her Zeckendorf Towers building at 4:10pm on July 10 and getting onto the elevator alone.
She had been at a nearby bar where she had watched the FIFA World Series Cup semi-finals between
France and Belgium in the match that day, and Nicholas said his daughter, whose grandfather is French, was ecstatic Les Bleus were victorious.
‘The doorman said she was happy. She was high-fiving them. They all loved her because, you know, she was just so friendly and nice,’ Nicholas said.
Former New York City medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden, [photo], hired by Prychodko to review the case, claimed Larae may not have accidentally fallen in the chute, and that her body showed signs of strangulation
At the time one of Lara’s neighbors on the 27th floor of the Zeckendorf Towers later told authorities that she returned home around 4:20pm and nothing seemed amiss in the hallway.
But ten minutes later, the neighbor said she heard loud noises coming from the hallway and stepped outside her apartment to investigate.
Although she did not see anyone at the time, she did discover an unattended purse on the floor near the trash compactor.
Authorities would later reveal that the purse belonged to Lara.
At 4:40pm, a maintenance worker stopped by the trash chute after it became jammed. That’s where he found Lara’s body ‘crushed from multiple angles.’
The estranged couple who shared a son couple were going through a divorce. They had been battling over their assets which included several pieces of real estate
Describing his daughter Lara, Nicholas Prychodko [photo], said: ‘She shaped both the beginning of my formative adult life and now she’s shaping how I spend the last years of my life’
Although the couple had been battling over their assets which included two homes in Southampton, an apartment in Chelsea, a penthouse in Williamsburg, and a loft in Toronto, a brief investigation by the NYPD concluded that there was no criminal activity involved.
Unsatisfied, Prychodko filed the first lawsuit in February 2021, alleging Lara’s husband hired a hitman to kill her. It further alleged that he installed tracking software on her laptop software. Schlachet stood to lose millions in the divorce the lawsuit concludes.
The first lawsuit was dismissed in July 2021 as Schlachet’s lawyers objected to the suit on the grounds that neither Prychodko nor his family financial advisor, Lance Meyerowich had no locus standi or legal authority to sue.
A point Nicholas Prychodko has made is that his daughter Lara [photo], at 5′ 10″, had too much height to simply fall down the trash chute
In April 2023, a judge granted Prychodko limited authority to represent his daughter’s estate.
Acting as guardians for the property of her now 17-year-old son, the duo of Prychodko and Meyerowich sued Schlachet and ‘the hitman’ a second time later that month in Manhattan Supreme Court, reiterating the argument that Schlachet ‘was financially motivated to kill his wife.’
Schlachet had filed his own wrongful death claim against the owners, operators, and managers of Zeckendorf Towers.
Prychodko in his latest suit, alleges that the complaint filed by his erstwhile son-in-law does not address how Lara ‘could have opened the garbage chute, pushed herself through its small opening, and dived down the chute – all by accident.’