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Handyman allegedly had two-year affair with Forest Hills’ Orsolya Gaal before murdering her: NYPD

affair indicted
Police escort David Bonola, who has been charged in the murder of Forest Hills mom Orsolya Gaal. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The man charged in the murder of Forest Hills mom Orsolya Gaal was allegedly involved in an affair with the 51-year-old married mother of two and worked as a handyman for the family, according to authorities.

Police on Thursday announced that David Bonola, 44, of South Richmond Hill, was arrested and charged with murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with Gaal’s death.

In a press conference outside the NYPD’s 112th Precinct late Thursday morning, NYPD Chief James Essig said Bonola was caught on nearby security cameras dragging the duffel bag in the early hours of April 16.

When he was brought in for questioning on Wednesday, April 20, Bonola made “incriminating statements,” Essig said.

According to the Queens district attorney’s office, he revealed that some time on April 16, he went to a nearby hospital for a cut on his hand. He also stated that he and Gaal argued and he allegedly confessed to stabbing her and moving her body. 

affair
Chief James Essig discusses the arrest of David Bonola in connection with the murder of Forest Hills mom Orsolya Gaal. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Authorities say that Bonola, who had been a handyman for the family over the last two years, had been having an on-again-off-again affair with Gaal over that same period of time before Gaal called it off for good earlier in April.

Essig said police believe Gaal arrived home at 72-24 Juno St. after a night out at around 12:10 a.m. on April 16 before Bonola came over around 12:30 a.m. Essig said the pair then got into a heated argument in the basement before Bonola allegedly stabbed and killed her.

Police recovered a knife found in the basement, which is believed to be the murder weapon, according to authorities. The knife was consistent with other knives found throughout the house.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Bonola is believed to have stuffed Gaal into a hockey bag that belonged to one of her sons and dragged her to the intersection at the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and the Jackie Robinson Parkway near Forest Park, where her body was discovered a little after 8 a.m. in April 16.

Police on the scene discovered a blood trail that brought them multiple blocks away, to Gaal’s Juno Street home.

It is believed Bonola stabbed Gaal at least 50 times, and a public affairs spokesperson from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told QNS that the medical examiner determined the cause of death as sharp force injuries to Gaal’s neck.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Detectives found Bonola’s jacket in Forest Park, leading them to believe that Bonola cut through the park as he fled the scene. Detectives also found boots, a T-shirt and bloody bandages at another unspecified location, police said.

Bonola received treatment for wounds to his hands at a hospital later on April 16, according to authorities.

According to the police, Bonola allegedly used Gaal’s phone to message her husband and blame the perpetrators of a previous burglary at the house for her murder.

“We were able to quickly get this killer off the streets,” Essig said.

Watch the full press conference below.

Bonola was arraigned Thursday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony M. Battisti, who ordered Bonoloa to return to court on April 26. 

“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.”

If convicted, Bonola faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Additional reporting by Zach Gewelb.

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