Update: According to PIX11, Orsolya went out to see a show with a man other than her husband the night before she was killed. Allegedly, the killer texted Orsolya’s husband accusing her of sending him to jail and also threatened to kill the entire family.
Brittany Kriegstein, John Annese and Elizabeth Keogh
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A Queens mom whose body was found stuffed in a bloody duffel bag went out the night before her killing, and cops are trying to trace her movements to unravel the mystery of her death, police sources said Sunday.
Orsolya Gaal, 51, returned to her Juno St. home in Forest Hills about 11 p.m. Friday after a night out with friends “and at 4:30 in the morning (Saturday), somebody’s pulling that bag down the street,” a high-ranking police source told the Daily News.
The cause of Gaal’s death has not yet been determined.
A neighbor who lived next door to the family spotted Gaal in her backyard with the family dog Friday evening.
“The sun came out, Friday was quite nice,” said John Blankson. “We were outside. We didn’t actually speak to her — we were just chilling outside — but she was outside with the dog.”
Blankson heard nothing from the house Friday night, noting he and his family were up late.
A dog-walker found Gaal’s body in a bloody duffel bag about 8:10 a.m. Saturday off Metropolitan Ave. near Forest Park Drive within the boundaries of densely wooded Forest Park between Kew Gardens and Forest Hills.
Cops then followed a trail of blood to her home a half-mile away, finding Gaal’s 13-year-old son alone on the top floor.
About 30 armed police officers swarmed the house and took the boy away in handcuffs, Blankson told The News.
“It’s crazy. When we came out, we saw a few police outside and we thought, ‘Oh, maybe it was a break-in,’” Blankson said.
Investigators don’t believe the teen was responsible for her death, the source said. Her husband, identified by neighbors as Howard Klein, was traveling out of state with the couple’s 17-year-old son, according to his Twitter account.
“The husband’s in Oregon, so it wasn’t him pulling that bag,” the police source said.
“Just landed Portland, OR before evaluating Ann Arbor again with my 17-year old son,” Klein said early Saturday in a now-deleted tweet.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the home of the University of Michigan, Klein’s alma mater.
Klein told police he believes his family’s lives are in danger, sources said.
“He was fine, a business guy,” Blankson said of Klein. “He was a partner at his firm, we’d talk about investment stuff.”
Klein is the founding partner of RK Equity, a capital markets advisory firm in the business of trading lithium, a metal used to make batteries, according to the firm’s website.
Cops believe the duffel bag in which Gaal’s body was discovered came from inside the family’s house.
Investigators are reviewing video and looking for credit card transactions to determine where she was and if she met anyone. They’re also taking a close look at phone and financial records, the source said.
“Right now,” the gruesome slaying is a mystery, a source said.
Neighbors were puzzled at the horrific violence in the quiet, upscale residential neighborhood.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Blankson said. “The police officer didn’t tell us what had happened, but he said that they were trying to make sense of it. Now I understand why they’re shaking their heads, because it doesn’t make sense.”
Bouquets of flowers were left outside the home Sunday afternoon, which remained cordoned off with crime scene tape. A large contingent of police returned to the home Sunday evening.
“This is the neighborhood, it’s quiet and calm,” Blankson said, gesturing around.
Blankson and his family were slated to attend the younger son’s bar mitzvah, which had been pushed back to May after Klein became sick with COVID-19.
Gaal’s death has been ruled a homicide and an autopsy will determine exactly how she died, police said.
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