‘My husband was thrown out like garbage.’ Monticello woman searches for answers in husband’s unsolved NYC death
Ilya Pakanayev’s death is a mystery his wife, Tanisha Pakanayeva, is desperate to solve. The 32-year-old left to visit family in New York City for Hanukkah three years ago – but never made it.
“Ilya was found dead on the street in Southside Jamaica, Queens,” said Pakanayeva. “He took the bus from Monticello and he got to Port Authority and was supposed to be heading to his parent’s house in Rego Park, Queens.”
NYPD says the Sullivan County man was found dead miles away from his destination in someone’s driveway he didn’t know.
Pakanayev’s wife says two men were seen on home surveillance video dumping her husband’s body and gave News 12 a copy of his autopsy that shows he had blunt force trauma, cuts and bruises all over his body.
“He didn’t leave home with all those injuries,” said Pakanayeva. “I believe my husband was set up or lured somewhere.”
Tanisha says her husband was robbed of $1,800 dollars in cash that he was carrying in envelopes for Hanukkah gifts.
Police allegedly identified the men and Tanisha says police told her the men claimed they were paid to dispose of her husband’s body. The men were never charged, according to the victim's wife.
Pakanayev’s final autopsy shows he died from a deadly combination of fentanyl and alcohol, and NYPD says his death was not suspicious.
Tanisha says her husband didn’t use drugs and says something went wrong with the investigation.
“I want people to come forward with answers. I want police to reopen Ilya’s case,” said Pakanayeva. “My husband was thrown out like garbage and it’s just sickening to me.”
Pakanayev moved to North Carolina from Monticello with the couple’s young children after his death.
A DCPI representative tells News 12 the case is closed but didn’t respond to our request for additional information about his wife’s concerns.