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Man arrested in 1999 murder case

LAWRENCEVILLE - Authorities have arrested a man wanted on charges of murder and aggravated assault in a 1999 case, the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies and members of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force located Manuel Bonilla, who is also known as Victor Villatoro and Lorenzo Bonilla, in Kansas City, Mo., a news release states. Bonilla is currently in Missouri awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Bonilla is accused of a Christmas Day murder in which two men - Jose Cruz and Jose Reyes, both of Norcross - were stabbed, the news release states. Reyes later died.

Bonilla fled to El Salvador but returned illegally to the United States using different names to avoid capture, the news release states. In 2007, the Sheriff's Department received a tip Bonilla had returned to the area, but he fled again to Virginia and North Carolina.

Authorities located Bonilla last week, but because he was using aliases, the Department of Homeland Security held him on immigration charges until he could be identified, the news release states.

"I am proud of the hard efforts made by our Fugitive unit and the Regional Task Force in tracking and continuing to track Mr. Bonilla until he could be brought to justice," Sheriff Butch Conway said in the news release. "It is very difficult to track suspects who flee the country and then enter back in illegally using aliases. These type of cases make our jobs that much harder. My deputies never quit looking for him and this is the end result."