Florence Banta. (Credit: Family photo)

Florence Banta. (Credit: Family photo)

CHICAGO (CBS) — An elderly woman reported missing Saturday was found dead Monday at the bottom of a trash chute in the Near North Side high-rise building where she lived.

Florence Banta, 80, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 1500 block of North Astor Street, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

A building engineer notified authorities, who found her in a ground-floor area of the building at the bottom of a trash chute, according to a medical examiner’s office spokesperson.

Banta lived in a 17th floor unit in the same building, and authorities are investigating whether she may have accidentally fallen down the chute, the spokesperson said.

Officers responded to the building about 10:30 a.m. and found her unresponsive, police News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti said.

She had previously been reported missing, and had last been seen Saturday, Ursitti said.

Police were not releasing further details on her death Monday evening. An autopsy to determine the cause and manner of her death is scheduled for Tuesday.

On Feb. 20, 2012, 17-year-old Charlie Manley fell to his death down the same garbage chute. Manley had autism and down syndrome, CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports.

His family lived in a duplex on the 46th and 47th floors.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report

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