The woman – identified Thursday as 41-year-old Angela Dotolo – was pulled out of the compactor Wednesday afternoon near the NSA Supermarket in New London.
She was discovered after an employee put cardboard down a chute and turned the machine on – and then heard screams from inside, The Day newspaper reported.
New London Police Capt. Brian Wright told the newspaper Thursday that Dotolo is in critical condition at a local hospital.
Wright added that the supermarket’s employees had been searching for Dotolo beforehand, as she was suspected of stealing several items, such as beer, from the store.
Fox News' Kira Grant and the Associated Press contributed to this report.