A cesspool worker was found dead last night in a vat of sewage at a housing complex in Smithtown, Long Island. Police found the body of 43-year-old Richard Dennison, of Central Islip, around 6:45 p.m. last night, after his wife became worried because he hadn't returned home from work. Dennison, who was employed by Oakdale-based United Cesspool Services, was working at the Avalon Commons apartment complex emptying out accumulated sewage in the vat—when something went horribly wrong.

"It appears that he finished loading his truck," Suffolk County Det. Lt. Gerard V. Pelkofsky tells Newsday (paywall). "Sometime after that, he fell into the remaining sewage at the facility." Investigators believe Dennison's death to be accidental. No criminality is suspected, but they're looking into whether Dennison had a prior medical condition that may have caused him to fall into the vat. He was working alone at the time.

The sewage facility is located on the grounds of the apartment complex, and is emptied monthly by United Cesspool. Reached by phone, a company employee told us this morning, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and we have no further comment at this time."