WALLKILL, N.Y. — A suspect just arrested in the 2003 cold case murder of a college student in a northern New York City suburb is about to be released, CBS New York’s Lisa Rozner and Ali Bauman report.

Edward Holley, 42, was charged last week but by law, he had to be indicted within six days. That didn’t happen, so he’ll be released from jail Thursday, authorities say.

Last Thursday, New York State Police charged Holley with second-degree murder two decades after Wallkill resident Megan McDonald’s body was found badly beaten and abandoned on a dirt road.

Her family expressed relief but almost a week later, Holley is being freed because he wasn’t indicted on the murder charge in the required six-day window.

His attorney, Paul Weber, says Holley maintains his innocence.

“There’s a lot of holes in this, and I think there are two other players that are probably the people that they should be focusing on,” Weber said. “They did not meet the burden of probable cause for the arrest.”

Investigators allege Holley and the college student had broken up days before her disappearance and that he owed her a substantial amount of money.

“There’s no phone records, no contact between them. … She broke up with him, and he moved on,” Weber said.

McDonald’s family released a statement saying they are “disappointed. However, his temporary release was expected. After patiently waiting for over 20 years, we are confident that the police have arrested the right person – Edward Holley. The process may not be easy or follow our preferred path, but we will not rest until justice is secured for Megan.”

Last week, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler lamented that police didn’t consult with his office before making the arrest, saying, “Complicated cases are normally at least partially presented to a grand jury before an arrest is made.”

Hoovler warned that this could happen saying, “Grand jury presentations on ‘cold’ homicide cases involving complicated fact patterns can rarely be commenced and completed within six days.”

“They have to ultimately prosecute this thing, and you have to follow their rules,” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant who served as commanding officer of the Bronx cold case squad.

Asked if it’s common for police to make an arrest in a cold case like this without working with the district attorney, Giacalone said, “No. The issue that it comes down to when you’re dealing with cold cases, the idea is to bring the prosecutor in at the earliest part of the reinvestigation.”

Before his arrest, Holley was already in jail for violating probation on a drug possession charge. He was scheduled to be released Thursday in that case but would have been held longer if he’d been indicted.

Wednesday evening, Hoovler announced that he requested a special prosecutor be appointed in this case. The DA said in his prior job in private practice, he represented a client potentially tied to the case..

Wallkill is some 77 miles northwest of Manhattan.