New York News

Tragic End for Missing Bath Beach Grandmother

Mary Joyce Bonsignore

Mary Joyce-Bonsignore, 88, a parishioner of St. Finbar, Bath Beach, who had been missing for over a week was found dead July 25. She was laying on the rooftop of a building just a couple of blocks away from her house said her pastor, Father Michael Gelfant. The building had public access from the first floor storefront and a staircase that led to the roof.

Joyce-Bonsignore, who suffered from dementia and other health issues, disappeared on the morning of July 17. She had wandered from her home while her husband was taking out the garbage.

Eventually, a search team was able to identify her on a security camera walking down Cropsey Ave. She must have wandered into the pub, a place familiar to her, and walked onto the rooftop, Father Gelfant said.

As The Tablet went to press a police investigation was still underway and services were yet to be scheduled. It was Father Gelfant who informed the family of the discovery.

He was hoping to bring them good news when he first organized a parish-wide search effort. He said it was hard to wait for her to be reunited with her husband, Bob Bonsignore, her daughter Moira Mason, and her two grandsons, Thomas and Conner.

Father Gelfant said the circumstances were unusual in that she seemingly disappeared without a trace. The parish and the police checked hospitals and morgues. In a city large as New York someone should have been able to spot her. Joyce-Bonsignore also wore a silver identification bracelet with contact phone numbers.

In the wake of her disappearance, members of the woman’s parish and neighboring communities had gotten together to help in the search effort.

Organized Response Effort

Nearly 150 parishioners and Knights of Columbus gathered in front of St. Finbar to conduct a gridlock search on July 23. They worked together with the 62nd police precinct and NYC CERT, the city’s volunteer emergency organization.

Following the gridlock search, Father Gelfant said it was important for the church to show the family that it was doing all that it could to help. The Bonsignores, he said, are devout parishioners, known well in the community.

“It’s like a nightmare where she fell into a black hole and disappeared,” said her husband of 30 years, Bob Bonsignore in the days following her disappearance.

“I know Jesus suffered. I know His mother suffered. So who am I going to complain. I just hope my wife is not suffering.”

Contributing to this article was Konrad Aderer.

Related NET-TV: “Search for Missing Grandmother Ends in Tragedy”