Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz vowed justice in the gruesome death of a New York City mother of two, whose killer allegedly hacked her up and dumped her under a highway overpass in a suspected "crime of passion" the day before Easter.
David Bonola, the guitar-toting suspected slasher accused of stabbing Orsolya Gaal nearly 60 times in a basement with her 13-year-old son on the third floor of her Tudor-style home, was being held at New York City’s Rikers Island jail under suicide watch Friday.
"Two boys are left without a mother, and a young teenager faces the added trauma of being home when this heinous murder took place," Katz said late Thursday. "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."
Bonola has two grown children, according to his neighbors in South Richmond Hill. And Bonola and Gall had been involved in an on-and-off affair for about two years, the NYPD said Thursday.
Gaal was last seen alive at a local bar on Good Friday, where she sat alone for about 40 minutes, according to police sources. She got home around midnight, and her killer arrived a few minutes later. Within an hour, police believe an argument with Bonola led to her brutal death. Four hours later, a neighbor’s Nest doorbell camera spotted her suspected killer lugging a heavy duffel bag down the sidewalk.
Police found her inside the next morning, dumped alongside Metropolitan Avenue with dozens of stab wounds and a slashed throat. They found her along the path Bonola could have taken home to his apartment just south of Liberty Avenue. They said a trail of blood led them back to Gaal’s house on Juno Street. Bonola is believed to have stolen the bag there. It belonged to one of her sons, according to prosecutors.
Investigators quickly gathered a wealth of clues – from cellphone records and surveillance video to physical evidence left at the scene and along the suspected killer's trail from Gaal's home.
Prosecutors say he left a blood-soaked jacket and bandages in Forest Park and the suspected murder weapon, Gaal’s own kitchen knife, at the scene. Police sources also said they recovered his bloody boots at the home, and surveillance video shows a man believed to be Bonola, who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, walking home on 114th Street in what look like black sneakers. He is also pictured with a bandage on his left hand.
Experts said the attack's brutality was indicative of a "crime of passion." The suspect, they believed, was likely someone who not only knew Gaal, but knew her well.
Police questioned and released her younger son, 13, on Saturday. He had been home the night of the alleged murder on the building's top floor. With her husband and older son out of the state visiting colleges on the West Coast, detectives closed in on the handyman with whom Gaal had allegedly carried on an intermittent affair.
The alleged throat slasher, known for carrying a guitar and gig bag around town, staying out late and traveling by bicycle, also bears a resemblance to the Guns N’ Roses rocker Slash. Bonola used photos of the rock star on several Facebook accounts. He also variously claimed to have attended different top New York City universities and to work for major international companies. However, those who knew him said he made a living as a handyman while moonlighting as a street musician.
Until about a year ago, Bonola had regularly purchased roses at the local florist and bragged about his "girlfriend," who the shopkeeper said he recognized as Gaal from photos he said Bonola had shown him.
Bonola had worked for the family, fixing up things around the house, for around two years, roughly the same length of time he had been seeing Gaal, according to authorities.
"We believe the relationship that Mr. Bonola had with our victim was an intimate-type relationship and this stemmed to be a domestic-type dispute," NYPD Lt. Tommy Thompson, from the Queens North Homicide squad, said during a news briefing Thursday.
As Fox News Digital has reported, Bonola is in the United States illegally, according to multiple law enforcement sources whose accounts were later confirmed by Homeland Security. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have lodged a detainer with Queens Central Booking.
Authorities said earlier this week that he was originally from Mexico, and he told neighbors in South Richmond Hill that he had served in the military there before coming to New York more than 20 years ago.
The police spoke with him on Wednesday, according to Katz’s office, and he made "incriminating statements," allegedly admitting to stabbing Gaal and moving her body. He also told them that, after the stabbing, he sought treatment for a cut on his hand.
Gaal had suffered defensive wounds on her hands and fingers before her trachea and carotid artery were cut, according to authorities. The deep cut on Bonola's hand could have been suffered while stabbing with a kitchen knife, which has no finger guard.
Bonola faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted on charges of second-degree murder, evidence tampering and criminal possession of a weapon.
He is due back in court on April 26.
Fox News' Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.