Suspect arrested in death of woman found in duffel bag

Posted at 2:29 PM, April 21, 2022 and last updated 7:45 PM, July 11, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — A suspect was arrested Thursday in the brutal stabbing death of a 51-year-old woman whose bloodied body was found in a duffel bag in Queens after the two had a dispute, police said.

David Bonola, 44, was arrested just before 1 a.m. on charges of murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the death of Orsolya Gaal, police said.

New York Police department investigators tracked down Bonola — a handyman who got involved with Gaal while working on her home — by reviewing security video from the victim’s Queens neighborhood, Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a news conference.

Once in custody, Bonola “made incriminating statements,” Essig said without going into detail. It wasn’t clear whether Bonola had an attorney who could comment on the charges against him.

The Queens District Attorney’s office had no immediate comment.

Gaal had attended a performance at Lincoln Center the night she was killed, police said. A few minutes after arriving home at 12:20 a.m. Saturday, Bonola entered and confronted her in the basement, police said.

During a heated argument, Bonola pulled a knife and stabbed the victim “ruthlessly and brutally in excess of 55 times,” Essig said.

The suspect then stuffed Gaal’s body into a duffel bag belonging to her son and pulled it outside, the chief said. His exit left “a bloody trail through the streets of Forest Hills” he added. A passerby reported spotting the bag ditched on a roadside later that morning.

Investigators said the suspect fled on foot, at points discarding articles of clothing and seeking medical treatment for wounds on his hands.