A New York man charged Thursday in the 2003 murder of an NYPD detective’s 20-year-old daughter proclaimed his love for the victim outside a New York State Police station after his arrest, according to local news.
Edward V. Holley, 42, is accused of beating Megan McDonald to death in the back seat of her white Mercury Sable and dumping her on the side of a road in Orange County, New York, March 14, 2003.
“I’m definitely not guilty. I love Megan with all my heart,” a wheelchair-bound Holley, who had a romantic relationship with McDonald before her murder, said Thursday while being escorted into a police vehicle, video from WCBS shows.
Two young women standing by another woman who identified herself as Holley’s wife shouted, “We love you, Daddy,” PIX11 reported.
“I’m definitely not guilty. I love Megan with all my heart,” Holley said. (Patrick Oehler/Times Herald-Record/USA Today Network)
Holley was paralyzed from the waist down in a 2007 car accident, the outlet reported. He has been in prison since 2021 for an unrelated drug charge, according to New York State Police.
“We used modern-day technology and applied it to 2003, and we were able to come up with good results to assist the case … within the past year,” New York State Police Lt. Brad Natalizio, who helped lead the investigation, told Fox News Digital.
Two young women standing by another woman who identified herself as Holley’s wife shouted, “We love you, Daddy,” as Holley was escorted away, PIX11 reported. (Patrick Oehler/Times Herald-Record/USA Today Network)
Natalizio added that McDonald’s family “never gave up,” and authorities are “very grateful” for their help with solving the case.
A felony complaint filed in Orange County alleges Holley “did knowingly and intentionally cause the death of Megan McDonald by striking her multiple times in the head with a blunt instrument.”
McDonald and Holley had been in a “romantic relationship” that McDonald apparently tried to end just days prior to her murder. They got into an argument March 10, 2003, according to the complaint.
Megan McDonald was murdered in Orange County, N.Y., in March 2003. (Justice for Megan McDonald)
Holley also “owed the victim a substantial amount of money that was causing hostility between the two leading up to the homicide,” the document states.
Additionally, witnesses saw Holley’s purple Honda Civic, described as “the loudest car in town,” following McDonald in her white Mercury March 14, the morning of her murder.
Megan McDonald (Justice for Megan McDonald)
Authorities found McDonald’s vehicle at the Kensington Manor apartment complex parking lot in Wallkill, New York, two days after they discovered her body.
A medical examiner determined her cause of death to be repeated blunt-force trauma to the head.
McDonald had been a student at SUNY Orange Community College and was working as a waitress to pay for her tuition.
A medical examiner concluded that Megan McDonald’s cause of death was repeated blunt force trauma to the head. (Justice for Megan McDonald)
Natalizio previously described her murder as a “crime of passion” and “intimate partner violence” in an interview with Fox News Digital.
The lieutenant was the same age as McDonald, grew up in Orange County and worked for the NYPD in 2006 before he eventually moved back upstate. He described Thursday’s arrest as “emotional,” but there is still “a lot of work to be done,” so police are “taking it day by day.”
New York State Police made an arrest in Megan McDonald’s 2003 murder. (Justice for Megan McDonald)
Holley “flew under the radar for the first several years of the investigation because there was an original suspect the police and even the suspect were focused on,” Natalizio explained in March when he believed authorities were close to an arrest.
Natalizio on Thursday thanked various law enforcement agencies and McDonald’s family for their effort in helping to track down and arrest Holley.
McDonald’s father died in 2002, a year before she was killed.