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Twenty years later, ‘infatuated’ ex-boyfriend arrested for 2003 murder of 20-year-old Megan McDonald

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(NEW YORK) — A man has been arrested for the 2003 killing of his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Megan McDonald, according to authorities, who allege he was “infatuated” with her and went “into a rage.”

Edward Holley, 42, of Wawayanda, New York, who is charged with second-degree murder, allegedly hit McDonald multiple times in the head while in her car in the early hours of March 14, 2003, according to New York State Police and the criminal complaint.

“We believe this crime was intimate partner violence,” state police Capt. Joseph Kolek said at a news conference Thursday. “Additionally, Ed Holley owed Megan a substantial sum of money.”

McDonald was found dead from blunt force trauma on a dirt path in Wallkill, New York, the day after she was killed, according to police. McDonald’s father, an NYPD detective, died one year earlier, in 2002, according to The New York Times.

Holley allegedly owed McDonald money that was causing “hostility” between them, according to the felony complaint. She allegedly tried to end their relationship several days before she was killed, according to the complaint, and authorities added that it appeared Holley “was infatuated” with McDonald.

On the morning of March 13, McDonald dropped off her new boyfriend at his apartment. He said he never saw her again, according to the felony complaint.

McDonald arrived at a home in Wallkill for a birthday party that night around 7 p.m., but she didn’t go inside because Holley was there, the complaint said.

About 30 minutes later, McDonald arrived at a house in Middletown and made multiple calls trying to find marijuana, including one call to a friend at the party where Holley was, the complaint said.

Around midnight, McDonald left the party and said she was going straight home because she had to work the next day, the complaint said. At about 12:15 a.m., McDonald arrived back at the Wallkill birthday party and told people she was going to go smoke, and two minutes later she drove away, the complaint said.

Around 12:25 a.m., McDonald arrived at “suspect 2″‘s house, and he got in her car and told McDonald he didn’t have marijuana for her, the complaint said. McDonald then told him she’d go get marijuana from Holley, according to a 2010 interview with “suspect 2,” the complaint said.

Holley was McDonald’s main marijuana supplier and police believe McDonald reached out to him as a “last resort” on the night she was killed, the complaint said.

Around 12:30 a.m., a witness saw McDonald’s car being followed through Wallkill by a dark Honda Civic hatchback, according to the complaint.

Days later, when McDonald’s car was found 500 feet from Holley’s home, police determined the 20-year-old had been killed while she was in the driver’s seat of her car, the document said.

Holley later told police he knew McDonald was outside the house party where he was on the night she was killed, according to the complaint. In one interview, Holley told police he drove his purple Honda Civic hatchback back to his home that night, according to the complaint.

Holley “provided numerous contradictory stories and alibis,” according to the complaint. Authorities said Holley consistently told police he last saw McDonald several days before she was killed when they had an altercation, though police said his reason for the altercation changed in each interview, according to the felony complaint.

In 2021, an analysis showed McDonald’s DNA and Holley’s DNA on McDonald’s phone, which was left in her car, the complaint said. Authorities believe the night of the murder Holley went through McDonald’s phone and saw she had recently called an ex, “causing Holley to go into a rage,” the complaint said.

In January 2023, an analysis placed McDonald, Holley and “suspect 2″‘s cellphones “together at key locations” on the night the 20-year-old was killed, the complaint said. “Suspect 2,” who died in 2010, was familiar with the area McDonald’s body was found, the complaint added.

In March 2023, DNA evidence showed Holley had been in McDonald’s car, the complaint said.

Holley has been arraigned and remanded without bail, state police said.

As Holley was transported by police, he told reporters, “I am definitely not guilty. I love Megan with all my heart.”

It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

The state police said Thursday that they’re still asking anyone with information to call them at 845-344-5300.

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