Surveillance footage, obtained by NBC New York, shows the 24-year-old stumbling down West 28th Street in Chelsea at around 11.45pm.
In the video, she is seen swaying and clutching the doorways and walls of buildings along the sidewalk. Elmquist also appears to try to open doors along the way before she is seen appearing to enter one building.
This is believed to be the last time she was seen alive.
Hours later – at around 3pm on Friday – Elmquist was found at the bottom of a garbage chute in the basement of the luxury +Art condo building at 540 West 28th Street.
A building employee reportedly made the harrowing discovery while taking out the trash.
Emergency services were called to the scene but the 24-year-old was pronounced dead.
Elmquist’s cause and manner of death remains a mystery, with questions mounting as to how she could have ended up in the chute.
However, law enforcement officials so far believe there is no sign of foul play.
A police source told The New York Post that “it hasn’t been determined if she was intoxicated but it’s a possibility”.
Elmquist did not live in the building where she was found and it remains unclear how she may have gained access to it and ended up in the basement.
The 24-year-old, whose family hails from Minnesota, lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and worked at recruitment agency Mission Staffing.
Prior to Friday’s grim discovery, Elmquist’s concerned family members had raised the alarm about her disappearance – posting a missing poster on social media.
“My cousin Jackie Elmquist has been missing since last night after she left a work party in Manhattan – she didn’t come home or show up for work this morning please spread the word so people in the area can see it since all of her family lives here in Minnesota,” her cousin Kat posted on X.
The missing poster said that she was last seen getting into a yellow cab at Catch Steak on West 16th Street and Ninth Avenue on Thursday night.
“We believe her phone is still in that area of Manhattan,” the family said at the time.
The NYPD later identified the body found in the chute as belonging to the missing woman.
The Independent has reached out to the NYPD for further information.
The New York medical examiner’s office will determine Elmquist’s cause and manner of death.