Authorities have made an arrest in the death of Orsolya Gaal, a 51-year-old wife and mother who was stabbed to death in a horrific killing in New York City. David Bonola, 44, has been charged with murder, criminal tampering in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, police said Thursday morning.
In a press conference Thursday morning, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said that Bonola and Gaal had been in an “off-and-on” relationship for at least two years, while he was employed as a handyman for the family’s home.
The two allegedly reunited early in the month of April, but their relationship was considered at an end at the time of Gaal’s death, police said.
Police said that Bonola was identified by investigators as a suspect wanted for questioning, and he voluntarily came back to the precinct, where he made incriminating statements.
Around 12:30 to 12:40 on Saturday morning, police believe Bonola entered Gaal’s home. While they can not tell whether he was let in voluntarily or used a key he knew was hidden in a barbecue outside, police said Bonola and Gaal had a dispute of a “domestic nature,” before Bonola brandished a knife and stabbed Gaal at least 55 times.
The knife was consistent with other knives in the home and was recovered on the scene by police. Bonola allegedly then placed Gaal’s body in a hockey duffel bag belonging to her son. Video evidence shows him rolling the bag down the sidewalk in Queens, leaving a bloody trail in its wake.
Early Saturday morning, police responded to a 911 call and found the body of Gaal in a duffel bag and a “blood trail” that led to her residence in Forest Park, Queens.
They believe that after leaving Gaal’s house, Bonola fled through Forest Park. Police discovered a jacket they believe he was wearing during the crime. Other investigators also discovered boots, a t-shirt and bloody bandages at a secondary location.
Bonola was allegedly treated on Saturday at a local medical institution for wounds in both hands, which police believe Gaal gave him during a “violent struggle” for her life.
Gabe Veras, the manager at the Forest Hills Station House restaurant in Queens, told CBS New York that video showed Gaal was at the bar on Friday night and employees saw her there.
“Orsolya was here on Friday around 11:45 to 12:30. She came in alone she left alone. She had her usual — a Moscow mule,” Veras said.
Gaal was a regular, often coming alone, he said. Veras says he spoke to her last Tuesday.
She had come back from a concert, seeing her favorite composer,” Veras said. “She was delighted at that. She was elated that she saw this composer live. She was very into the arts and music.”
Sources told CBS New York went to the show at Lincoln Center with female friends Friday night. She returned to Queens, visited a local bar and then returned to her home on Juno Street.
Police said her husband and 17-year-old son were out of town when the incident happened. Her 13-year-old son was questioned in the case, but was released. Authorities said Thursday that while the duffel bag Gaal’s body was found in did belong to her son who was sleeping in the house at the time of her death, they do not believe he woke up before Bonola left the home.
Police also said that a message sent from Gaal’s phone to her out of town husband that warned of a burglary was completely false and sent by Bonola.
Police are still awaiting additional forensic evidence and canvassing for more video, but there are no other outstanding suspects at this time. Authorities said Thursday they believe they have more than enough evidence to successfully charge Bonola for the murder.
For live updates on the case, visit CBS New York.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism