QUEENS, N.Y. — A handyman who had a sexual relationship with a Queens mother of two found stuffed into a sports duffel bag Saturday morning has been charged with her brutal stabbing death, according to police.
David Bonola, 44, of Queens, is accused of stabbing Orsolya Gaal 58 times before placing her body in a rolling duffel bag and removing it from her Forest Hills home. According to authorities, Bonola was a handyman for Gaal, 51, with whom he had been in an “intimate relationship” for two years.
“They had been off-and-on and they had broken up prior, but had reunited early in the month of April,” Julie Morell, deputy chief detective on the case, said Thursday at a news conference. “And their relationship was considered at an end.”
Gaal’s body was found when a passerby spotted the blood-soaked bag on a street near her home. She died of “sharp force wounds” to her neck.
James Essig, chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, said that investigators were canvassing for video in the case Wednesday when they spotted Bonola, who was being sought for questioning.
“He voluntarily came back to the 112th Precinct and made incriminating statements,” Essig said Thursday morning.
Bonola is charged with second-degree murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon.
Essig said that Gaal and some friends went to a show Friday night at Lincoln Center before taking the train back to her neighborhood. Her husband and their 17-year-old son were out of town on a college scouting trip, authorities said.
Around 11:20 p.m., she went to a bar alone for a while before going home.
“We believe she returns home at 12:20 a.m.,” Essig said. “We also believe Mr. Bonola arrives at her residence at 12:30 and 12:40 a.m.”
Bonola was either let into the house by Gaal, or he used a key he knew was hidden in the barbecue outside, the chief said. The pair then had a heated argument in the basement of the house, while Gaal’s 13-year-old son slept upstairs.
“A knife is brandished. A violent struggle ensues, resulting in our victim being stabbed ruthlessly and brutally in excess of 55 times, causing her demise,” Essig said.
The suspected murder weapon was recovered from Gaal’s home.
Bonola then used a hockey bag belonging to one of Gaal’s children to hide her body and remove it from the home. Surveillance video from the neighborhood captured footage of Gaal’s killer rolling the bag down a nearby sidewalk.
Following the gruesome discovery of her body, detectives identified Gaal by following a blood trail from the discarded bag to her family’s house.
Essig said Bonola is suspected to have fled through the Forest Hills neighborhood, where his jacket was recovered.
“Detectives also developed leads, which led them to a location where boots, a T-shirt and bloody bandages were discovered,” the chief said.
Watch Thursday’s news conference below.
On Saturday, Bonola was treated at an area hospital for wounds to both of his hands. A surveillance image shown at Thursday’s news conference shows a man matching Bonola’s description with one of his hands wrapped in what looks like bandages.
The investigation into Gaal’s death is ongoing. Essig said detectives are still canvassing for video in the neighborhood where the homicide took place. They are also awaiting forensic results on items of evidence.
No one else is suspected of involvement in the killing.
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