Passover weekend was off to a bloody start in Forest Hills, where a woman’s body was found shoved inside a duffel bag early Saturday — and police sources said the victim’s husband and son are considered “persons of interest” in her death.
The gruesome find, near a popular walking path in the usually quiet, upscale Queens neighborhood, left residents shaken.
Police were spotted swooping in on one of the area’s stately Tudor-style homes on nearby Juno Street, where neighbors said a teenager was seen being taken away in handcuffs shortly after the body was found.
The NYPD did not publicly identify the victim and would not immediately confirm an arrest.
Police sources said a teenager from a home on Juno Street, less than half a mile from the scene, was at the local precinct in connection with the case. His father was reportedly en route to the station, the source said.
Reached by phone, the father of the teen told The Post he was “in the middle of a terrible experience.”
The businessman, who recently tweeted about being on a trip with an older son and posted to social media from Portland, Ore., at 1:36 a.m. Friday, said he was at an airport preparing to fly back to New York.
“[My son] is safe. Thank God [my son] is safe,” he said Saturday of his younger child, before adding that his family’s “lives are at stake.”
The dad did not answer when asked about his younger son being questioned by police.
“There are concerns about our safety,” the man claimed. “Our lives are at risk.”
He did not elaborate.
The case was still being investigated, said a police source, who noted there are cameras along the route from the Juno Street home to the area where the body was dumped.
“Something is not adding up. But there are cameras along the way,” the source said. “They’ll tell if it’s an adult or a child.”
The boy, just 13-years-old, was released Saturday evening, said cops, who did not reveal what adult took custody of the child.
The nightmarish find upended an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning in the area.
Glenn Van Nostrand, 51, stumbled upon the grisly scene while walking his two dogs through nearby Forest Park.
At first, Van Nostrand thought the wheeled Bauer hockey duffel bag had simply been discarded.
But his two Rhodesian ridgebacks, Philip and Iris, got so agitated as they neared it that he decided to look inside.
“They are scent hounds,” Van Nostrand told The Post. “They see the world through their noses.”
When he opened the bag he saw a foot and then a hip, still attached, he said.
“But to me it looked a mannequin,” he 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 saw black, ankle-length jeans, a belt and a woman’s waist. He didn’t see the blood on the other side of the bag until after he had opened it, he said. The body was in the fetal position, he said, adding that the bag had wheels.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness,’ and called police at 8:05 a.m. and said there’s a body in this bag,’” he said.
Once detectives arrived, Van Nostrand dropped his dogs off at home before going down to the precinct to give a full report. But while he was trying to walk home, his dogs had other ideas.
“They kept pulling me,” he said.
The dogs led him to a spot about 100 yards from where the body in the bag was found, on Metropolitan Avenue near the Jackie Robinson Parkway, where patches of apparently fresh blood were found.
“Some of the cops followed me and the dogs to it,” he added.
Sources confirmed the duffel bag had been leaking blood, and that authorities were investigating a blood trail in the area that led to the Juno Street home.
“It’s shocking,” Van Nostrand said. “My personal feeling is a broken heart for whoever this is. My heart was in my throat the entire time.”
Neighbors near the Juno Street home said the family there was nice and seemingly normal.
Nicola Blankson said the family had lived at the home about nine years and recalled the mother.
“She was pretty calm, sociable,” Blankson said. “She was out there living her life and making sure her kids were well looked after like any mother would.
“This is the last thing I’d expect to wake up to in the morning. To wake up to this is just devastating.”
A neighbor who did not want to give her name told The Post the family was “very nice people.”
“This morning there were lots of cops,” she said. “I knew something went wrong because I saw so many dozens of cops on the block.”
The neighbor described the mother as a “stay at home mom. She spent a lot of time with the kids.”
A nearby resident said she was frightened.
“It’s freaky. As a woman, it’s scary. You listen to true crime stuff and you don’t want to see it in real life, especially in your neighborhood,” said horrified resident Linda Gorniaczyk at the crime scene.
One local said she was already planning to move to Florida before the chilling discovery — and now can’t wait to leave New York
“It’s absolutely horrifying,” event planner Mara Newman told The Post. “Nothing like this would happen in this neighborhood. People pay a lot of money to live in Forest Hills. I’m sick to my stomach. I don’t feel safe. I’m not going to be walking here at night. I can’t believe there is a . . . body thrown on the side of the road.”
Additional reporting by Larry Celona and Georgett Roberts