Handyman suspect confessed, stabbed mom more than 55 times after she asked him to leave: prosecutor

ByCandace McCowan WABC logo
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Queens mom murder suspect on suicide watch after court appearance
Candace McCowan reports on the Queens mom murder suspect's court appearance.

QUEENS, N.Y. -- The suspect in the murder of a New York mother of two whose body was found in a duffel bag made his first court appearance late Thursday night, and more details of the grisly crime emerged.

And while 44-year-old David Bonola is being prosecuted for murder, federal immigration authorities are looking into whether he entered the country illegally from his native Mexico 21 years ago and have filed a detainee with the court.

"ICE focuses its civil immigration enforcement priorities on the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security," an ICE spokesperson said.

Prosecutors say the victim, 51-year-old Orsoyla Gaal, let Bonola inside her Forest Hills home in Queens and that the two had an on-again, off-again affair over the past two years.

The prosecution submitted a transcript of Bonola's taped statement made to police, during which they say he confessed.

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Gaal let him in "because she knew him," but he overstayed his welcome, a prosecutor said, stating that Gaal asked Bonola to "leave multiple times" before he stabbed her nearly 60 times.

"The defendant and victim were known to each other," assistant district attorney Josh Garland said. "Because she knew him, she let him into the house. He then engaged her in a verbal dispute and unfortunately she had to ask him to leave multiple times."

Prosecutors also revealed Bonola allegedly slashed Gaal's throat before stuffing her body in a hockey bag and dragging it and dumping it at the end of a long trail of blood that led back to Gaal's home.

"Two boys are left without a mother and a young teenager faces the added trauma of being home when this heinous murder took place," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "As alleged, the defendant stabbed the victim over 50 times and then attempted to dispose of the body by stuffing it into a duffel bag and dragging it across a quiet residential neighborhood, leaving a trail of blood and a terrified community. The defendant is now in custody and will be held to account for this horrific crime."

During the investigation, police recovered a bloody jacket and blood-stained tissues from inside Forest Park.

On Wednesday, the defendant offered to speak to police and, during questioning, made incriminating statements, police said.

Bonola allegedly revealed that some time on Saturday he went to a New York City hospital for a cut on his hand. He also told police he and the victim argued, he allegedly confessed to stabbing her and moving her body, according to prosecutors.

"Based upon information provided by persons known to the New York City Police Department and the Queens County District Attorney's office, recovered video surveillance, and statements and admissions made by the defendant, David Bonola, that, at the above-mentioned date, time, and place of occurrence, the defendant did stab the victim, Orsolya Gaal, numerous times with a knife, thereby causing her death, after which he placed her body in a duffle bag and moved it to the sidewalk at another location," the criminal complaint said.

Bonola was ordered held without bail on second-degree murder charges and, at the request of defense attorney David Strahan, was placed on suicide watch.

Bonola is due back in court next week. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.