A handyman accused of stabbing a Queens mother 58 times, stuffing her body in her son’s hockey bag and leaving it on the side of a road had an on-and-off affair with the victim, New York police said Thursday.
David Bonola, 44, of Queens, has been taken into custody for murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon in the murder of Orsolya Gaal, police say.
Chief of Detectives James Essig told a news conference Thursday that Bonola had been in “an intimate relationship” with Gaal for two years. He said there were no other suspects in his death at this time.
Gaal, a 51-year-old mother of two, was found in a bag at the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway in Forest Hills shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday, the NYPD said.
Bonola had worked at Gaal’s home for two years as a handyman, police said.
“They had been on and off, and they had broken up before but reunited in early April. Their relationship was considered over,” an official said. It’s unclear who initiated the breakup.
Police have shared a timeline of events leading up to Gaal’s death.
Authorities said she attended a Friday night performance at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, then took the train back to Forest Hills. Gaal stopped at a local establishment around 11:20 p.m. before returning home an hour later.
Bonola arrived at the residence between 12:30 a.m. and 12:40 a.m. He was either “voluntarily let in” or used a key he knew was hidden in a barbecue, Essig said.
The couple argued and a knife was brandished. Gaal was “ruthlessly and brutally” stabbed in the basement, Essig said.
She had 58 stab wounds to her neck, torso, arm and hand, police sources previously said. The hand injuries were likely due to attempts to push the attacker away, according to police sources.
Bonola put Gaal in her son’s hockey bag and was caught on security camera rolling the bag down 75th Avenue in Forest Hills, Essig said.
After detectives found her body in the bag, a trail of blood led them to her Juno Street home about half a mile away, police said.
A knife that was allegedly used was found in the house.
Police found Bonola on Wednesday evening as they sought to obtain more video footage in the case. He voluntarily presented himself for questioning and “made incriminating statements”, Essig said.
The investigation is preliminary and ongoing, authorities said.
Gaal was last seen alive at Forest Hills Station House. Pub manager Gabriel Veras told NBC New York that she “had a Moscow mule, had a bite to eat” and there was “nothing unusual”. She didn’t seem scared, frightened or panicked.”
“She was a very, very sweet regular. She left on her own and we were in shock the next day. Shock,” Veras said.