The New York City mother-of-two who was found stuffed in a hockey bag in Queens early Saturday morning was out with friends the night before, seemingly enjoying herself.
Orsolya Gaal, 51, was seen by neighbor John Blankson Friday evening just walking about the yard with her dog, according to the New York Daily News.
‘The sun came out, Friday was quite nice,’ said Blankson. ‘We were outside. We didn’t actually speak to her – we were just chilling outside – but she was outside with the dog.’
That was the last time Blankson or his family saw Gaal, making sure to mention that everyone in his house was up particularly late Friday night.
A source told the New York Post that Gaal was out with friends on Friday night during her final hours.
Orsolya Gaal, 51, was seen by neighbor John Blankson Friday evening just walking about the yard with her dog
Gaal’s body was discovered in a blood-filled duffel bag in Queens early Saturday morning, near a popular walking path on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, on a section of street that cuts through a local park. Pictured is the sidewalk where the body was found
Detectives are now investigating the gruesome find, which was made by two different local residents near a popular walking path on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, on a section of street that cuts through a local park
An NYPD official said they have footage from around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday of someone rolling the bag down the sidewalk from ‘multiple cameras.’
‘She knew the people she was out with,’ the source said of Gaal. ‘We’re talking to them. We also have to figure out, did she meet some mysterious stranger along the way?’
Detectives are now investigating the gruesome find, which was made by two different local residents near a popular walking path on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, on a section of street that cuts through a local park.
Cops said a blood trail from the blood-soaked bag led them to Gaal’s house, located in a gated community on Juno Street a half mile from where her body was found.
Police sources told the New York Post that her husband and one of her sons are considered ‘persons of interest’ in her death.
Gaal had no ID on her when she was found, police told the New York Daily News evening, adding that officers who followed the trail made an ’emergency entry’ into the woman’s home in an attempt to get to the bottom of the grisly discovery.
Once inside the residence, cops said, officers came across Gaal’s 13-year-old son, alone in the house’s top floor.
When questioned by officers, the child said that he lived in the house with his mother, and that his father and older brother were away traveling, the Daily News reported. The teen added that he did not know where his mom was.
A neighbor told the Post that the younger son was seen being taken away in handcuffs.
After the youth’s questioning, cops determined he had no knowledge of the crime, and the child was subsequently released, police said, after determining the body in the bag was, indeed, Gaal’s.
Gaal’s husband, identified by neighbors as Howard Klein, was reportedly traveling out of state with the couple’s eldest son, aged 17, Twitter posts from the man published earlier this week indicated.
Police told the Daily News that Klein and his son had been made aware of Gaal’s death and were on their way back to New York.
The Daily News had previously reported that police, while honing in on the family’s home, had been investigating the possibility that a male relative killed Gaal, citing law enforcement sources at the time.
The woman whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag Saturday morning has been identified as married mother-of-two Orsolya Gaal, 51, pictured with the family’s dog
Gaal is pictured with her husband, Howard Klein, and two sons, aged 13 and 17, in this undated photo
Detectives are now investigating the gruesome find, which was made by two different local residents near the busy street (pictured)
Pictured is home in Forest Hills Gardens, a gated community a half mile from where the body was found. A blood trail from the bag led them to a house in the private cul de sac complex, belonging to the family of four
When reached by the Post via phone, Klein said he was ‘in the middle of a terrible experience’ and was readying to fly back to New York.
‘[My son] Leo is safe. Thank God [my son] is safe,’ he said of the 13-year-old.
‘There are concerns about our safety. Our lives are at risk.’
According to Gaal’s Facebook page, she attended Budapest Business School College of International Management and Business, and likely has family in Hungary.
Several photos posted by Gaal show the woman with the family’s dog and chronicle trips to Hungary, Croatia, China and Guatemala. Posts also show the mother speaking in Hungarian.
In February, she contributed to a fundraiser put in place by her younger son for Susan G. Komen, which raises money for breast cancer research, the Daily News reported.
In a YouTube video posted last month, the child explained that he started the fundraiser as a bar mitzvah project to honor his paternal grandmother, who died of cancer in 2010.
‘My grandmother Deborah Klein died after a five-year battle with breast cancer at the age of 76,’ the child says in the clip, the newspaper reported. ‘I was only 18 months old at the time, so I never really had the chance to know my grandma Debbie.’
Her husband’s social media accounts, meanwhile, reportedly suggest he is from Long Island and that he’s a trader of lithium, a metal used to power electronics.
According to Gaal’s Facebook page, she attended Budapest Business School College of International Management and Business, and likely had family in Hungary
Several photos posted by Gaal show the slain mom with the family’s dog and chronicle trips to Hungary, Croatia, China, and Guatemala
His LinkedIn profile identifies him as the founder of RK Equity, where he currently works as a partner, according to the Daily News. His profile describes the business as a ‘New York-based boutique capital markets advisory firm.’
Early Saturday morning, in a since-deleted tweet, Klein wrote that he and his son had landed in Portland, Oregon, and that they had plans to head to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the businessman received his undergraduate degree in 1990, according to his LinkedIn.
‘Just landed Portland, OR before evaluating Ann Arbor again with my 17-year old son,’ the Daily News reported that Klein wrote the morning his wife’s mangled, blood-covered body was discovered by passersby in Forest Park.
No arrests have been made in the investigation, which is still ongoing.
A local resident was the first to stumble across the grisly scene, cops said. Noticing the blood, the Good Samaritan dialed dispatchers at roughly 8:11 a.m.
Police arrived to the scene after a second call was made, according to another local, Glenn Van Nostrand, reportedly the second to come across the body.
Van Nostrand, 51, who had been walking through the park with his two hunting dogs, told the New York Post he noticed what he said was a black Bauer hockey duffel bag while headed down the busy street to his nearby home.
Van Nostrand did not think much of the discovery at first, he told the paper, but bizarre behavior from his two hound dogs spurred him to look inside.
‘They are scent hounds,’ Van Nostrand said. ‘They see the world through their noses.’
When Van Nostrand opened the bag, he found the mangled body, which he said had been packed in the bag in the fetal position.
‘To me it looked a mannequin,’ the Queens resident said. ‘It didn’t look very fleshy. It was more like a crash test dummy. I thought it was maybe some equipment being used for something. I didn’t think anything of it.’
Then, Van Nostrand said, he noticed black, ankle-length jeans, a belt and a woman’s waist, and came to the realization it was real body, eventually noticing blood on the other side of the bag after having opened it.
‘I thought, “Oh my goodness,” and called police,’ said Van Nostrand, who added that he told dispatchers who answered his call, ‘There’s a body in this bag.’
Van Nostrand added that ‘another gentleman’ – referring to the other tipster, who was not identified by cops – had called earlier, but cops had not come at that point.
Van Nostrand also revealed that the bag had wheels.
Cops who arrived on the scene transferred the remains Saturday morning to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The incident is the latest in a startling surge of crimes that have plagued the city since the start of the pandemic – a crime wave NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell says stems from ‘a perception among criminals that there are no consequences, even for serious crime.’
The disturbing discovery comes as New York continues to grapple with a violent crime wave that has seen major crimes rise nearly 50 percent in the past year
Last week, top cop Sewell slammed the recent trend toward policies such as bail reform, and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s stance reducing or dropping charges for many crimes.
‘[The justice system] must be fair, but it must first and foremost favor the people it was designed to safeguard and protect. When the focus on those people is lost – New Yorkers, who deserve to be free from fear – the policies fail to deliver on their most basic purpose, which is public safety,’ Sewell said during an April 6 presser.
‘Everyday New Yorkers need more help. Our police need more help. We need help from every corner of the criminal justice system, and from everyone who lives in, works in, or visits our great city,’ said Sewell.
The commissioner then called for something to be done about the ‘continuing and completely unacceptable violence in our streets.’
The surging crime wave, which according to the latest NYPD statistics shows no signs of abating, has seen an uptick in almost all major crimes this year.
For the year through April 10, major crimes are up 44 percent from the same period in 2021, with felony assault up 19 percent and robberies rising 48 percent, the latest NYPD data show.
Murders have ticked down 11 percent, but other crimes are well up, with shooting incidents rising 8 percent, burglary up 31 percent, and grand larceny auto soaring 77 percent.
Major crimes, meanwhile, are up overall, by nearly 50 percent.