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The Forest Hills mom whose butchered body was found stuffed in a duffel bag had once been reported missing by her husband — after she went for a midnight stroll and didn’t come home, police sources said Monday.

Orsolya Gaal’s hubby Howard Klein called 911 around 7:21 a.m. May 29, 2020, to report his wife missing, telling cops she went for a walk around 12:30 a.m. and hadn’t returned, sources told The Post. 

Klein, 53, told the emergency operator his wife wasn’t in their Juno Street house in Queens when he woke up that morning, sources said. Then he called back about 30 minutes later to say she’d been found, sources said. 

The bizarre incident only added to the continuing mystery shrouding Gaal’s murder Saturday morning. More than 48 hours into the investigation, cops have yet to name a suspect or even person of interest in her gruesome slaying. 

NYPD SUV at the scene
Orsolya Gaal’s husband has concerns about his family’s safety. “Our lives are at risk.” he told The Post.
Kevin C. Downs

Here’s what we know so far about the events leading up to Gaal’s death:

  • The doting mother of two sons, ages 17 and 13, spent time in her backyard Friday afternoon before heading out with friends that evening for a night out in Manhattan, police sources said. A neighbor who told The Post he saw Gaal in the yard described her, her sons and Klein as a “normal family.”
Orsolya Gaal
Orsolya Gaal was stabbed 60 times in the neck, torso and left arm before being stuffed in a black hockey duffle bag.
Facebook/Orsolya Gaal
  • On Friday and Saturday, Klein and the couple’s eldest son were away in Oregon on a college tour. The pair’s 13-year-old was home with his mother in Queens, and cops believe he remained in the stately Tudor home Friday into Saturday without leaving, law-enforcement sources have said. 
  • Gaal, 51, returned home sometime after midnight Friday into Saturday, and her killer came to the home soon after and stabbed her 60 times in the neck, torso and left arm before stuffing her in a black Bauer hockey duffle bag that was like one used by one of the kids, according to authorities. Gaal, who was found with possible defense cuts inside her fingers and on her hands, died from “sharp force wounds” to her neck, said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Monday, ruling the death a homicide.  
  • Law-enforcement sources suspect that the killer knew Gaal, as there were no signs of a break-in at the home, and considering the violent nature of the crime, they suggested the attack was personal and committed in anger specifically toward her.
Orsolya Gaal
Orsolya Gaal had been reported missing by her husband in 2020 after going out for a late-night walk.
Facebook/Orsolya Gaal
  • After stuffing Gaal’s butchered remains into the duffle bag, the suspect dragged it from the side door of the family’s home and through the quiet neighborhood, leaving behind a trail of blood. 
  • Video surveillance from a local doorbell caught a shadowy figure rolling the duffle bag down a sidewalk on 75th Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, about four blocks away from Gaal’s home.
  • The bag with Gaal’s body in it was discovered around 8 a.m. a few blocks away, near the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and the Jackie Robinson Parkway, cops said. Dogwalker Glenn Van Nostrand, 51, told The Post that at first, he thought a mannequin was stuffed into the large pouch. When he peeked inside, he saw black-ankle length jeans, a belt and a woman’s waist and called the cops.  
NYPD at the crime scene, discovering the duffle bag.
Officers believe the attack was personal to the Queen’s mom.
(Kevin C. Downs for The New York
NYPD at the crime scene, discovering the victim's body in a duffle bag.
NYPD at the crime scene, discovering the victim’s body in a duffle bag.
(Kevin C. Downs for The New York
  • When police arrived at Gaal’s house later that morning, they found her 13-year-old son on the top floor of the home. He told cops he lived at the location but didn’t know where his mom was, police said. He was taken into custody and brought to a precinct for questioning before he was released later in the day.
  • Klein, a business owner with an advisory firm focused on lithium-ion battery materials, told police he’d received a threatening text message from his wife’s phone after her death stating “Your whole family is next,” according to law-enforcement sources and WPIX.
  • The Post reached Klein by phone Saturday, and he said he was about to get on a flight bound for New York, adding that his family was in danger. “There are concerns about our safety,” Klein claimed. “Our lives are at risk.”
  • Since returning to New York, Klein has been in touch with police and is staying somewhere else, as the home is still an active crime scene, law-enforcement sources said. 
Police are watching the home, to ensure the family feels safe about any dangers.
Police are watching the home, to ensure the family feels safe about any dangers.
Ellis Kaplan
  • Police sources have said detectives know who Gaal was out with the night before her death and are reviewing receipts and surveillance footage to track her movements and figure out if she met a “mysterious stranger along the way. “It’s a mystery,” an NYPD source told the Post on Sunday. “Now it’s a question of piecing together everything she did.” 
  • Police have been posted outside of the home, which is still wrapped in crime-scene tape, since the murder. Plain-clothes detectives were spotted hauling evidence from the property Monday afternoon, including a large iMac computer wrapped in a black plastic bag. 

“Everybody’s on edge because a killer is running around, who just butchered someone yards from our homes, and they are still at large,” neighbor Nick Bais said.

“The police-crime unit mobile laboratory was here all last night with the lights flashing. No one slept.” 

Source: NYPOST

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