Cops want to question a man they believe had a past romantic relationship with slain Queens mom Orsolya Gaal and specific knowledge of the family’s home, The Post has learned.
The man, who has not been formally identified as a person of interest or suspect in the gruesome slaying yet, is believed to have been seeing the 51-year-old married mother of two before the relationship ended, law enforcement sources said.
It’s unclear exactly when the relationship soured, but according to sources familiar with the case, the man would have been familiar enough with the family’s well-kept home in Forest Hills to know how to get in without breaking and entering.
Gaal was stabbed nearly 60 times sometime in the wee hours Saturday inside the front of the home, with her corpse then taken to the basement, sources and authorities have said. She was stashed in a black Bauer hockey bag similar to one belonging to her kids, and the pouch containing her body was then dragged outside and dumped about a half-mile away, cops said.
Police sources have said they believe the killer knew Gaal because there were no signs of a break-in, and that considering the violent nature of the crime, they suspect the attack was personal and fueled by anger specifically toward her.
Meanwhile, cops are also looking to speak with several other people Gaal had been texting with before her death, sources said, as detectives plastered posters around the neighborhood offering a $3,500 reward in exchange for tips.
“UP TO $3,500 REWARD FOR INFORMATION REGARDING A HOMICIDE,” the poster states in bolded red letters beside a photo of Gaal’s home and the number for Crime Stoppers.
“On Saturday, April 16th, 2022, at approximately 12:40am… An unknown perpetrator stabbed a 51-year-old Orsolya Gaal multiple times causing her death. The victim was found inside a duffel bag along Metropolitan Avenue in Queens,” the poster reads.
On Friday evening, Gaal headed out with friends to see a show at Lincoln Center before returning to Queens around midnight and hitting a bar in her neighborhood where she hung out for about 40 minutes alone, apparently waiting for someone, police sources said.
Samson Cornejo, whose father owns 5 Burro Cafe on Austin Street, said Gaal was a regular at the watering hole but added that he’s not sure if she was there late Friday.
“Her house is a 10-minute walk. … She comes here, y’know, she’s been here before. She used to come with some Russian ladies,” Cornejo told The Post on Tuesday.
“I saw the bag, where they found it, after I left that night. I drove by it after leaving here. I couldn’t believe when I heard. It smacked me when I saw her picture!”
Gaal’s 13-year-old son was home when cops went to the house Saturday morning after his mother’s body was discovered. The boy was upstairs at the time, and there is no indication he left the house at all overnight, sources said.
Gaal’s husband and 17-year-old son were out of state on a college tour at the time.
In May 2020, Gaal was briefly reported missing to police after her husband called 911 and said she’d gone for a walk around midnight and wasn’t home by the time he woke up the next morning.
About two months later, she posted an ominous message to a community Facebook page asking for information on how to buy pepper spray.
“Given the recent attack on a woman in Forest Park and the general uptick of crime and seedy characters in the neighborhood, I sought info here to get mace / pepper spray for my runs in the park,” the post states.
“Be safe out there!” she wrote.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore, Kevin Sheehan, Jack Morphet and Steven Vago