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Police: Cold Case Murder Solved Nearly 12-Years Later

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Thomas Burton (Source: MDPD)

Thomas Burton (Source: MDPD)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After nearly 12-years, Miami-Dade police have arrested a man and charged him with murder.

Thomas Burton was arrested Tuesday in Reading, Pennsylvania and extradited to Miami for the murder of Carlos Figueroa.

DNA evidence helped to place Burton as the gunman in the crime.

Figueroa was shot on November 6, 2002.

Homicide investigators said on that morning, Antonio Carrero, Carlos Zambrano and Figueroa, were approached by two men in a Ford Focus four-door with a temporary tag.

They asked for directions and drove away, police said.  However, the car returned seconds later and the front passenger got out of the car with guns and stated, “It’s a robbery.”  Police believe that man was Burton.

Burton allegedly placed a gun to Figueroa’s head and tried to remove his wallet from is pocket.

When he could not, he allegedly struck Figueroa on the head with the gun.

Carrero ran from the scene and the gunman fired his weapon several times missing Carrero. Police said the gunman turned to Figueroa and fired one shot at him, hitting him in the abdomen.

Zambrano then began to struggle for the subject’s weapon. During the struggle, the subject bit Zambrano on his shoulder and his New York Yankees baseball cap fell to the ground. In order to stop the subject from firing any more shots, Zambrano placed his finger behind the trigger, making the firearm inoperable. Unable to regain control, the Burton left the firearm on the scene, re-entered the subject vehicle, and fled the scene.

Figueroa died due to complications from the gunshot wound on December 18, 2002.

During the course of the investigation, DNA evidence recovered from the subject’s baseball cap positively identified the gunman as Thomas Burton.

A records check revealed that he was currently in custody in Berks County, Pennsylvania on an unrelated charge.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Homicide investigators interviewed Burton at the Berks County courthouse.

Police said Burton admitted to his involvement in the armed robbery and murder of Figueroa, and was charged.

Anyone with additional information can call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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