Police believe that a Jewish woman who went missing from her home last week was murdered by her son.
Lyubov Gorbunova, a home health aid, was reported missing last Tuesday by a family friend. Her daughter, who remained in the family’s native Uzbekistan, grew concerned when she hadn’t heard from Gorbunova for several days and called a family friend who was based in New York for help.
The friend then contacted Gorbunova’s boss, who said that her son had taken her to a hospital for back problems. However, the hospital had no record of Gorbunova as a patient.
When she spoke to Gorbunova’s son, 21-year-old Roman Gorbunov, he told multiple contradictory stories, leading her to contact authorities.
The police eventually identified September 27 as the last time anyone had seen Gobunova. Her and her son appear on security footage at a neighborhood liquor store, then were witnessed entering their Rego Park apartment around 6:30 p.m.
However, by the time police were involved, the son had disappeared. More security footage from his apartment shows him leaving several times with duffel bags, as well as with a body bag, which he’d apparently purchased on Amazon.
On footage from September 29th, Gobunov can be seen leaving the apartment with a garbage can, which apparently contained his mothers body, and entering an Uber, which he took to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to dispose of the body.
Gobunov was actually arrested the next day, September 30th, for stealing a monitor from his apartment’s lobby, but since this was before his mother was reported missing, he was let free.
NYPD finally caught up with Gobunov early Saturday morning in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn after a clerk recognized his name as someone wanted by police.
Since his arrest, Gobunov has cooperated with authorities, saying that his mother died after he hit her in the head with furniture. He claimed that the attack was preceded by an argument during which his mother said, “I wish you had never been born.”
A body, believed to be Gobunova’s, was found in Flushing Meadows midday Saturday.
Gobunov has been charged with second-degree murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.