Arrest made in death of New York mom found in duffel bag

Northeast

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — Police arrested a suspect in the death of a wife and mother whose body was found in a duffel bag near a park in Queens last weekend, law enforcement confirmed to NewsNation Thursday.

David Bonola, 44, was charged with murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the New York Police Department. Investigators believe Bonola, who also lives in Queens, had done work at Orsolya Gaal’s home and may have had access to a spare key, NewsNation affiliate WPIX reported.

Bonola turned himself in and told police “I hear you’re looking for me,” police announced at a news conference Wednesday. They say he confessed to the murder.

Bonola had been having an “intimate affair” with Gaal on and off for about two years, officials said Thursday during a briefing. The pair had a “heated argument” at Gaal’s Forest Hills home early Saturday morning that turned violent, Chief of Detectives James Essig said. Bonola then stabbed Gaal nearly 60 times with a knife he likely found in the home.

Investigators said Wednesday that they have a clearer picture of what happened in the hours before Gaal’s death. The 51-year-old attended a show Friday night at Lincoln Center. After, she spent about 45 minutes waiting at a bar for someone who did not show up.

Gaal ordered her usual at the Forest Hills Station House, said Gabriel Veras, the pub’s manager.

“She didn’t seem frightened, or scared, or panicked. she just sat there and had her one drink before going home,” Veras recalled. “She just came back from the orchestra, elated about seeing her favorite composer live.”

Veras said Gaal was a “composed, classy, sweet lady.” She was a regular at the bar. Gaal always came in alone and had one or two Moscow Mules.

Investigators said Gaal eventually returned to her home, where she was stabbed. There were signs of defensive wounds on her hands. Police said she also hurt Bonola, and he went to the hospital for treatment. Police confirmed that helped them narrow down their list of suspects.

Surveillance video captured Bonola allegedly dragging a large hockey bag down the street. Hours later, a jogger stumbled across that bag, more than a mile from Gaal’s home near the Jackie Robinson Parkway, with her body stuffed inside. Police said a trail of blood from the bag led officers to Gaal’s home. 

There also was a text sent to Gaal’s husband, who was out of town at the time, writing, “Your whole family is next,” from her phone after dumping her body. Her 13-year-old son was home at the time of her killing. He was questioned but it appears he slept through the incident.

Police said they believe that was an empty threat meant to create a distraction.

NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.

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