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A Queens mother of two was fatally stabbed over the weekend and found in a hockey duffel bag abandoned by her suspected killer in a park near her home, police said.
Orsolya Gaal, 51, was found dead inside the bloody sports equipment bag at Forest Hills Park around 8 a.m. on Saturday, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) said in a press release sent to Oxygen.com.
A man walking his dogs reportedly made the gruesome discovery, the New York Post reported, and police responded to a 911 call regarding a “suspicious bag with blood on it” at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway.
Gaal was found inside the duffel bag and pronounced dead on the scene. Her death was subsequently ruled a homicide, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, confirmed with Oxygen.com on Monday afternoon, after a pathologist determined the 51-year-old mother had died from sharp force injuries to the neck. Sources told New York NBC affiliate WNBC and the Post that she had been stabbed 58 times in her torso, neck, left arm and on both hands.
After discovering her body inside the bag, police traced a blood trail for roughly half a mile, back to Gaal’s Tudor-style home on Juno Street. The woman’s 13-year-old son was home at the time; the Post reports that he told police "he lives at the location but does not know where she is." He was reportedly seen by neighbor’s being hauled off in handcuffs for questioning, the New York Post reported at the time, but was interviewed and released.
A "high-up NYPD source" reportedly told the Post that detectives don't believe the boy left the house overnight.
An NYPD spokesperson clarified Monday morning that no arrests have been made as of yet in Gaal’s killing. A possible motive in the apparent slaying also hasn’t been released.
"Thank God [my son] is safe,” Gaal’s husband, Howard Klein, told the Post on Saturday about the 13-year-old, before adding that his family’s “lives are at stake.”
Klein, was in Portland, Oregon scouting potential colleges with the couple’s older son, who is 17, at the time of the puzzling murder, WPIX reported. He received a text from his wife’s purported killer, which the Post said came from Gaal's phone, stating, “Your whole family is next," and police subsequently told WPIX that the messages included an allegation that Gaal had been responsible for the perpetrator's incarceration years ago.
Oxygen.com was immediately unable to independently verify the text message’s existence or authenticity. A spokesperson for the NYPD declined to comment on the message on Monday.
Detectives are now scrambling to identify a person captured by surveillance cameras seen dragging what they believe were Gaal’s remains inside the duffel bag down a nearby sidewalk hours before her death.
“Around 4:30 a.m., you see somebody rolling this [duffel bag] down the sidewalk from multiple cameras,’’ an NYPD official told the New York Post.
Homicide investigators are also constructing a clearer timeline of Gaal’s movements and activities in the hours and minutes leading up to the Queens mother’s death. According to police sources, Gaal had been out with friends the night before her suspected slaying.
“It’s a mystery,” the New York City Police Department official told the newspaper. “Now it’s a question of piecing together everything she did that night.”
Gaal reportedly told her youngest son she was going out to see a show on the night of her death; police believe that, at some point, a man she knew — who investigators now believe is the killer — met up with her, WPIX reported, citing separate police sources. Officials now suspect the woman was killed in the basement of her home by that man, stuffed in the duffel bag and dumped in Forest Hills Park by the person seen in neighbors' surveillance recordings.
The macabre slaying of the stay-at-home mom has stunned the sleepy Queens neighborhood where the family lives.
“Nothing happens here,” John Blankson, a next-door neighbor of the slain woman, told WPIX.
Gaal studied at Budapest Business School College of International Management and Business in Hungary, according to her social media profile.
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