Blood in trunk led to murder charges in case of missing Summerville woman

Ashley Pegram and Edward Bonilla

Blood found in the trunk of a car led to murder charges in the case of a Summerville woman who has been missing since going out on a date she lined up through a phone app, according to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.

Edward Bonilla, 30, of Mabeline Road in Hanahan, who has been in the Dorchester County jail on obstruction charges, is being charged with murder, Capt. Tony Phinney said Tuesday.

Bonilla was arrested April 15 on an obstruction charge because of discrepancies in his version of what happened after he picked up 28-year-old Ashley Pegram from her home April 3. She has not been seen since then.

Investigators found blood in the trunk of Bonilla’s car “and other locations that were under his control” the night of her disappearance, Phinney said. The blood turned out to be consistent with Pegram’s DNA profile, he said.

“Due to this evidence and other factors, it is probable that Ashley Pegram is deceased,” Phinney said.

“Investigators have obtained a warrant and will charge Edward Primo Bonilla with the murder of Ashley Pegram.”

Pegram met up with Bonilla through the Kik phone app. He went by the screen name of Emoney Bon, according to investigators.

Pegram’s family told deputies that she left their house in Clemson Terrace around 9:30 p.m. April 3 with a man in a slate blue 2005 Hyundai Sonata.

Pegram’s sister tracked down the man through messages on the cellphone she and her sister share. Pegram didn’t take the phone, credit cards or other identification with her when she went out on the date, according to the incident report.

Bonilla said he dropped off Pegram near her house off U.S. Highway 78 near Summerville around midnight because she was drunk and unruly, according to the report.

Bonilla’s story was contradicted by video showing Pegram at a Sunoco station on College Park Road around that time, Phinney said after Bonilla was arrested.

Pegram left three children at home with her mother when she left with Bonilla. Pegram’s mother and sister said it was unlike her to be gone without calling. Investigators said they suspected foul play.

The search for her body and other evidence continues.

Bonilla is being held in the Dorchester jail on $400,000 bail. He has a bond hearing set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the judicial complex in Summerville.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.