Lyubov Gorbunova was last seen around 9 a.m. on September 27. The 58-year-old Rego Park resident was a home health aide who immigrated from Uzbekistan.
Her son Roman Gorbunov, also of Rego Park, was taken into police custody and gave statements on Friday, a police source said.
Around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, members of the 112th Precinct Detective Squad and the Queens Homicide North Detective Squad pulled Gorbunova’s body from the lake. They had been searching the area near Jewel Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway since Thursday.
According to District Attorney Richard Brown’s office, Gorbunova and her son got into an argument on the evening of September 27. Gorbunov struck his mother in the head with a plate and then struck her with a blunt instrument, which ultimately killed her.
Later, he stuffed her body into a bodybag and ordered a car service to take him to park where he dumped her body into the lake, Brown said.
Gorbunov was arrested on September 30 and charged with petit larceny after he stole a security monitor from his mother’s building, The surveillance footage showed him leaving the building with a large bag.
However, police were unaware of a possible murder because the mother had not been reported missing at the time.
Gorbunov was charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, and concealment of a human corpse.
If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
A GoFundMe page was set up by Forest Hills resident Zach Zane on behalf of Gorbunova’s daughter, Marina, so her body could be returned to Uzbekistan.
Her daughter, who currently resides in Uzbekistan and speaks very little English, said she does not have the money to ship her mother’s body home.
“I did not know Lyubov personally,” Zane said. “I was inspired to help after reading multiple Facebook posts, and I saw that the daughter didn't know what to do and didn't have any money to bury her mother.”