A 56-year-old man was crushed to death by a trash compactor in Palatine.

A Palatine man was crushed to death in a trash compactor as he searched for his missing cell phone, authorities said.

Roger Mirro, 56, told a neighbor in his apartment complex around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday that he may have dropped his phone down the garbage chute, authorities said. Mirro asked for a key to the trash room in the lower level parking garage, they said.

Around 3 1/2 hours later, police got a call from Mirro's wife saying he was missing, Deputy Police Chief Alan Stoeckel said in a statement.

The woman said she last spoke with her husband by phone as she left work around 5 p.m., telling him she was going out with her friends, police said.

She got back to the apartment in the 200 block of South Clubhouse Drive around 9:30 p.m. but couldn’t find her husband, police said.

After talking to neighbors, officers searched the parking garage and the trash room, where they discovered a lock had been removed from the door. They saw a ladder propped up alongside the trash compactor and Mirro's body inside it, police said.

An autopsy determined Mirro died of crushing injuries caused by the compactor, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Stoeckel called the death “a terrible accident.”

rsobol@tribune.com

Twitter: @RosemarySobol1