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Locals Raise Money to Send Body of Murdered Rego Park Woman to Uzbekistan

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 10, 2016 3:16pm
 Left: Lyubov Gorbunova, right: Roman Gorbunov and his sister Marina.
Left: Lyubov Gorbunova, right: Roman Gorbunov and his sister Marina.
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Courtesy of Marina Gorbunova

QUEENS — Rego Park is opening its hearts and wallets to help a daughter transport her mother's body to her native Uzbekistan after police said the woman was killed and dumped in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park by her son. 

A GoFundMe campaign — “Send Lyubov Gorbunova body home” — started by local residents on Sunday had raised nearly $2,000 of its $10,000 goal as of Monday morning.

The campaign is “to help Marina Gorbunova (Daughter) of Lyubov Gorbunova to get her mother's body flown back to her native Uzbekistan for proper burial,” the page reads.

“I didn’t know the family, but I was very touched by this tragic story,” said Zack Zane, a Rego Park resident who got in touch with Gorbunova's daughter in Uzbekistan and launched the fundraiser on her behalf.

He added that he hopes to work with the Uzbek consulate “in order to help sending the body back.”

The consulate did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

"I don't even know how much money we need to transport my mother home but I want to say a huge thank you to all the people [who helped]," Gorbunova’s daughter Marina, 30, told DNAinfo New York.

Gorbunova's body was pulled from Willow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Saturday morning, one day after her son, Roman Gorbunov, 21, was arrested and confessed to her murder, police sources and the Queens District Attorney's office said.

The body of Lyubov Gorbunova was found in Willow Lake early Saturday. (BMR Breaking News)

According to sources and the criminal complaint, Gorbunova, who worked as a home health aide and was last seen on Sept. 27, got into an argument with her son, during which she said wished he'd never been born. Then he allegedly struck her in the head with a plate and beat her to death with a piece of furniture.

Gorbunov then stuffed his mother's body into a bag and ordered a car service to take him to the park where he dumped her into the water, according to the Queens DA's office.

An Uber driver who gave Gorbunov a ride later called 911 to report that the bag smelled like a dead body, sources said.

Gorbunov was initially arrested on Sept. 30 for stealing a security monitor from his mother's apartment building, but was later released, since his mother was not reported missing until Oct. 4, sources said.

He was arrested the second time when police sources said investigators were looking for him and he used his credit card in New Utrecht.

Gorbunov was charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence, and concealment of a human corpse, and was ordered held without bail, according to the Queens DA's office.

He is due back in court on Oct. 21.

“I don't want to believe that she is dead,” Gorbunova's daughter said about her mother. “I still cannot believe that Roma could have done it. Our mother loved him very much.”