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Man charged as accessory in 2009 double killing in Bradenton

MANATEE -- A man was charged Wednesday with two counts of being an accessory after the fact to a second-degree murder in connection with a double homicide in 2009, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Eduardo Milian, 25, was charged after detectives obtained new evidence in the case involving the deaths of 18-year-olds Irwin Figueroa and Rudy Garduno.

"It's a combination of physical evidence and additional witnesses who came forward," said detective Jeffrey Bliss.

Bliss said sheriff's deputies arrested Milian at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday in a vehicle in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in the 3700 block of Cortez Road West.

"Good legwork in terms of talking to people and getting some witnesses is what led to this arrest today," sheriff's office spokesman Randy Warren said. "Now we're continuing to build on it and there will be more coming."

On July 3, 2009, Figueroa and Garduno were shot and killed while walking in the roadway of the 1100 block of 59th Avenue Drive East in Bradenton.

"The victims were criminal street gang members and it is believed the shooting occurred after a physical altercation with rival gang members," a press release states.

After the shooting, deputies said the gunnmen were seen fleeing the area.

The homicide highlighted ongoing gang violence in the area.

The fight against street gangs eventually caused an antigang partnership between Manatee and Sarasota county sheriff's offices. Officials said joining forces became necessary after an effective crackdown in Manatee sent gang members over the county line to commit crimes.

Since the slayings almost six years ago, investigators have continued to locate new leads and follow up on new evidence, according to the sheriff's office.

"This case should act as a reminder to other family members who have unsolved cased that we continue to diligently investigate all homicide cases and we never give up until an arrest is made," Bliss said.

More charges are possible in the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information in this investigation can call Bliss at 941-747-3011, ext. 2159, or remain anonymous and contact Manatee County Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

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