QUEENS — A Rego Park woman who police said was killed in September by her son who later dumped her body in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was finally laid to rest Thursday, her daughter said.
The Medical Examiner’s office released the body of Lyubov Gorbunova, 58, Sunday, after verifying her identity through DNA confirmation last week, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.
Gorbunova, a home health aide from Uzbekistan, was killed Sept. 27, 2016, by her son Roman Gorbunov, 21, after the two got into an argument, police said.
Two days later, he dumped her body into the park’s lake where she wasn't found until Oct. 8, according to the NYPD.
“I still cannot believe it,” Marina Gorbunova, 30, Roman's half-sister, told DNAinfo New York on Friday morning.
She came to New York in December from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, where she lives with her 2-year-old son and was initially planning to take her mother’s body to her native country. But she later decided to bury her in the U.S. instead.
Marina said she provided a DNA sample to the Medical Examiner's office which was struggling to identify Gorbunova's badly decomposed body, but it took two months to complete the process.
Bolcer said in an email earlier this week that while “the vast majority of decedents can be identified within days by next of kin viewing a photo … the circumstances of some cases are more challenging, and require more advanced and time intensive methods of identification.”
Earlier this year, Marina told DNAinfo that she decided not to see her mother’s body. “I wanted to remember her the way she was when she was alive,” she said.
During her stay in New York, she was trying to see her brother who is currently held in Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to court documents.
But she said she was not able to visit him. She attended several court hearings scheduled for him at the Queens Criminal Court but her brother was never brought into a courtroom, she said.
“I love him and I hate him at the same time,” she said in January about Roman.
(Photo courtesy of Marina Gorbunova)
Gorbunov told investigators that during the argument with his mother she told him she wished he had never been born. He then struck her in the head with a plate. They both fell to the floor and he grabbed a metal pipe that was part of a chair, and beat her to death, according to police and prosecutors.
Police said he also confessed to placing his mother's body behind a bed in their Rego Park apartment and later putting it in the body bag. Two days later, on Sept. 29, he called an Uber and used it to transport Gorbunova’s body to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park where he dumped it in Willow Lake, authorities said.
(BMR Breaking News)
Marina said Friday she hopes to go back to Uzbekistan soon, but she is still waiting for paperwork related to her mother’s death. She also wants to attend her brother's upcoming court hearing on March 7.
Lyubov Gorbunova was buried at Rosedale Cemetery in New Jersey, according to Lisovetsky Memorial Home in Brooklyn which held the funeral service.