'Infatuated' Ex Indicted 21 Years After Death of NYPD Detective's Daughter

Edward Holley was arrested in 2023 in connection with the killing of his ex-girlfriend Megan McDonald, the daughter of a late NYPD detective

<p>New York State Police</p> Megan McDonald

New York State Police

Megan McDonald
  • Edward Holley allegedly killed Megan McDonald after she tried to break off their relationship, authorities say

  • McDonald's body was found on a dirt road in Wallkill, N.Y., in March 2003, per reports

  • McDonald was the daughter of an NYPD detective who died the previous year

A 43-year-old man has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the killing of a woman in 2003, according to authorities.

Edward Holley was arrested in April 2023 in the killing of 20-year-old Megan McDonald in Wallkill, N.Y., WABC, The Journal News and ABC News reported at the time.

In March 2003, McDonald was allegedly attacked by Holley in her car, ABC News reported following the arrest, citing New York State Police and a criminal complaint. Her body was found on a dirt road in Wallkill, day after her death, police said, according to ABC News.

McDonald died a year after the passing of her father, an NYPD detective, The Journal News reported.

On Monday, an Orange County grand jury in New York indicted Holley on a second-degree murder charge, Julia Cornachio, a special prosecutor appointed by the Orange County District Attorney, confirms with PEOPLE.

In March 2023, police were able to identify Holley's presence in McDonald's car in 2003 through DNA evidence, the criminal complaint stated, according to ABC News.

Earlier, in 2021, authorities allegedly discovered Holley's DNA on McDonald's phone, according to the complaint, the outlet reported. Authorities suspect Holley went into a fit of "rage" after going through McDonald's phone and finding out messages she had sent another man, per the document.

Holley’s alleged attack was both a case of intimate-partner violence as well as an issue related to money he owed her, authorities said, according to ABC News and WABC.

"We believe this crime was intimate partner violence, additionally Ed Holley owed Megan a substantial sum of money," New York State Police Capt. Joseph Kole said following the arrest, per the outlets.

ABC News reported, citing authorities, that Holley seemed to be "infatuated" with McDonald, who reportedly tried to end their relationship as things had turned sour between the two because of the money he allegedly owed her.

Cornachio declined to make any further comments citing the pending investigation. 

<p>Patrick Oehler/Times Herald-Record/USA TODAY NETWORK</p> Edward Holley

Patrick Oehler/Times Herald-Record/USA TODAY NETWORK

Edward Holley

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On Monday, McDonald’s family said they were “gratified and relieved” at the news of the indictment.

“The indictment of Edward Holley is a significant step towards justice for Megan and her family,” they said in a statement on the Justice for Megan website that has been documenting the coverage of her case over the years and has an account of the last few hours before her death.

The indictment on Monday comes after State Police brought a second-degree murder charge against Holley in 2023 which the District Attorney did not pursue, claiming there wasn't enough time to gather evidence for an indictment, The Times Union and The Journal News reported.

Cornachio was appointed Special District Attorney to prosecute this case after Orange County DA David Hoovler asked to be recused from the case, she tells PEOPLE. 

Paul Weber Jr., an attorney for Holley listed in court records, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comments.

He has said the grand jury process is “unfair” to the defendant as it presents “only one side of the story” that is told “behind closed doors,” where defense attorneys aren’t allowed, The Journal News reported.

Holley, who has been in a wheelchair since a 2007 car crash, is set to be arraigned on Friday, according to court records. Following his arrest in 2023, Holley said he is "definitely not guilty," The Journal News reported.

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