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CCPD makes another arrest in 2022 homicide

By CJ HADDAD - | Mar 14, 2023

CCPD Police Chief Anthony Sizemore.

Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore on Tuesday announced a second arrest in connection to a June 2022 homicide.

Eduardo Ramon Troche-Rodriguez was taken into custody last week in Lexington, Kentucky, and charged with second degree murder in connection to the death of 41-year-old Fernando Batista Montero. He is currently waiting to be extradited to Lee County. Troche-Rodriguez is the second individual police were searching for involved with the case.

Sizemore said all detectives had to go on in locating their second suspect was a nickname.

“Through painstaking work of old-fashioned detective work, putting feet on the street, talking to witnesses, poring over digital evidence, forensic evidence, our team was able to paint a picture and identify our second suspect,” Sizemore said.

Officials said by “fortune” last week, there was a break in the case. Sizemore said CCPD received intel on his whereabouts in the Lexington area.

A pair of CCPD Major Crimes detectives boarded a plane, met with Lexington Police Department personnel, and apprehended Troche-Rodriguez.

“We have been working with Amira Fox and her team at the State Attorney’s Office throughout this investigation, and we knew what we needed,” Sizemore added. “It wasn’t simply (arresting) our suspect. There were still ends to tie up. There was still very difficult, painstaking threading of a needle if you will in being able to get the probable cause we needed. But the talent of (our) team came through, like the community would expect them to, and just like we were depending on them to.”

On June 4 of last year, CCPD officers responding to a 4:28 a.m. call of shots fired found Montero in the backseat of a vehicle in the driveway of his home at 1807 S.W. 10th Terrace. He had been shot multiple times and died at the scene, police said. Callers reported hearing approximately 20 gunshots near the location.

Sizemore said quickly into CCPD’s investigation, they learned there were two suspects.

“Both of these suspects we later learned came down to Cape Coral specifically for this incident,” Sizemore said. “They executed our victim, robbed him, and immediately fled not only Cape Coral, but the state of Florida.”

Sizemore said detectives were able to identify one suspect and establish probable cause to arrest 21-year-old Jose Alberdi Maldonado of Lexington, Kentucky as one of the shooters. He was arrested in July of 2022 and charged with second degree murder and robbery with a firearm.

“But our investigation wasn’t done at that point, we still had a second shooter that we had to find,” Sizemore said.

The investigation leading to learning the identity of Troche-Rodriguez involved award-winning forensic technology. CPPD said contacts pertaining to the phone number used by Troche-Rodriguez revealed that he was in frequent contact with a female identified by a first name. According to officials, a search through law enforcement databases revealed that woman’s maiden name that was used to investigate further. Then examination of the woman’s social media account led to the discovery that her brother was social media friends with an individual displaying a profile name of the second suspect’s name. A photograph associated with this social media account strongly resembled the description provided by witnesses of the homicide.

Officials said while processing evidence seized from inside the vehicle abandoned by Maldonado, a Western Union money order was located (which belonged to the victim) and was subsequently processed by detectives, who lifted a print belonging to the second suspect.

On Tuesday morning, Sizemore met with Montero’s family, calling it a “bittersweet” moment.

“There were tears, obviously, their loved one is still gone,” Sizemore said. “The talented investigators and all the hard work that was put in cannot bring him back, but what we can deliver is a little bit of peace, a little bit of closure, and they mentioned to me this morning that they are now just able to finally get a decent night’s sleep. They were very concerned with two murderers out free after their despicable act.”

Detective Stephen Cragin was named Cape Coral Police Department’s Officer/Detective of the year for his forensic work on the case.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj