A young woman’s sudden disappearance after a date left her family worried and frustrated. But despite hope, she never turned up alive again. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Web of Lies: Swipe Right for Murder’ chronicles the tragic case of Ashley Pegram’s death in April 2015. What was supposed to be a fun night out turned out to be fatal for the young mother, leading the authorities to search for her killer. So, if you’re wondering what happened in this case, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Ashley Pegram Die?
Ashley Nicole Pegram was a South Carolina native born in April 1986. She had three children and lived in Summerville, South Carolina, with her parents. Loved ones said Ashley had a kind and helping nature, and she loved spending time outdoors. On April 3, 2015, the 28-year-old left home sometime after 9 PM for a date but never returned. The worried family reported her missing on April 4.
As days turned into weeks, the hope to find Ashley alive dwindled. Based on a tip, the authorities searched a wooded area in Harleyville, South Carolina. They found Ashley’s decomposing body in a shallow grave on May 9, 2015. She was only in a bra, and her spectacles were tangled in her hair. The autopsy showed fractures in her neck consistent with manual strangulation and blunt force trauma to her head. The cause of death was listed as homicidal violence.
Who Killed Ashley Pegram?
When Ashley didn’t return the next day, her family checked her messages through a phone she shared with her sister. At the time, Ashley had been talking to a man named Edward Borilla through a messaging app; they had met online sometime in March 2015. In fact, Edward was the guy she had been out on a date with the previous night. A message received at around 3:29 AM on April 4 had him apologizing for leaving Ashley on the road because she was too drunk.
The family gave the authorities this information, and they brought in Edward for questioning. He claimed to have picked up Ashley on the night of April 3, after which they drove in his mother’s car to a bonfire at his brother’s residence. Sometime after midnight, surveillance footage from a gas station showed Ashley entering and leaving in the same vehicle. While Edward initially claimed to have left her at the gas station, he later changed his story, pointing to a trailer park in Summerville.
Not convinced with his version of the events, the authorities looked closer at Edward. At the time, he was employed at a flooring company, and surveillance from there showed Edward leaving in one of the company cars, which was returned at around 10:55 PM on April 4 by an unidentified person. The police examined the car and found traces of blood that tested positive for Ashley’s DNA. With this evidence, they obtained a warrant to search his mother’s car. The trunk also had Ashley’s DNA.
Edward stated at his trial that the death was an accident. After spending time at the bonfire, he was driving Ashley home when she accused him of stealing her mother’s phone and yelled at him. When Edward stopped so Ashley could use the restroom, he claimed she walked off. Then, Edward decided to leave, and as he was backing up, his car hit Ashley. As he checked on her, he claimed the mother of three had attacked him. In an effort to subdue her, Edward wrapped her in a bear hug and contended she died in her arms.
Edward said, “Everything was happening so fast at that moment. I’ve never been around someone acting like that.” He put Ashley’s body in the car’s trunk, dumped her on the side of the road, but returned with the work car. Edward taped a plastic bag around Ashley’s head, claiming it was because she was bleeding. After driving to the wooded area in Harleyville, Edward buried Ashley’s body in a shallow grave.
Where is Edward Bonilla Now?
Ultimately, Edward was the one who told police where Ashley was buried. He also admitted to sending Ashley a message to mislead the authorities. Furthermore, cell phone tower pings also placed Edward in the area where the body was found. In August 2016, then 31 years old, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prison records indicate that Edward remains incarcerated at the Perry Correctional Institution in Pelzer, South Carolina.
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