SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect wanted in a 2019 Salt Lake City homicide has been arrested in California.
According to a Friday press release by Salt Lake City Police, Timote Fonua, 42, was taken into custody after a SWAT standoff in San Mateo and charged in the shooting death of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt, 27.
Blair was mortally wounded the morning of July 27, 2019, after being shot inside a residence at the Apartments on the Green located at 1211 N. Redwood Road.
On the day of the shooting, SLCPD public information officer Sgt. Brandon Shearer told Gephardt Daily, on scene, that officers were responding to a burglary call about 7:41 a.m. when the call was changed to a “shots fired” incident.
When police arrived, minutes later, they found the critically wounded Leavitt in a ground floor apartment on the complex’s northwest side. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she died from injuries, Shearer said.
During the course of the investigation, SLCPD detectives identified six suspects involved in Leavitt’s murder “and the obstruction of justice that has occurred since her death.”
In a February 15, 2022 press conference SLCPD named the suspects: 26-year-old Katoa Pahulu, 36-year-old Lachelle Fiefia, 26-year-old Mapilivai Laulea, 22-year-old Sunia Cavazos, 37-year-old Tevita Kofutua, and 41-year-old Timote Fonua.
“The people responsible for Miss Leavitt’s death need to be brought to justice,” SLCPD Capt. Victor Siebeneck told reporters.
“We know there are people who have lied and tried to minimize their involvement or their knowledge or any role in this in this case, and we hope those lies end today.
“We hope that someone will come forward with one critical piece of information, one crucial item of evidence that will help us march towards our goal of bringing justice for Blaire, and answers and closure to her family, and bring this case from an investigation into a courtroom.”
One week later, on Feb. 24, detectives with the Salt Lake City Police Department announced the arrest of Lachelle Fiefia, 36, on obstruction of justice charges. According to a police statement, “Fiefia willingly drove two of the men involved in the homicide to Oakland, California, despite knowing they had been involved in Ms. Leavitt’s murder.”
It’s unclear if one of those men was Timote Fonua.
On Friday, March 18, the Maui, Hawaii Police Department notified SLCPD they had arrested Katoa Pahulu, 26, after he turned himself in on an outstanding warrant. His alleged role in the murder was not revealed.
“The arrest warrant in this case is sealed,” the SLCPD said in March. “As such, the SLCPD is unable to release any details about the charge or any other details about his alleged involvement in the homicide of Ms. Leavitt.”
The Salt Lake City Police Department recognized the San Mateo Police Department, the United States Marshals Service and San Mateo County’s North Central Regional SWAT team for their assistance on the case.
SLCPD stressed the case remains an ongoing investigation. “Anyone with information about this case should contact 801-799-3000 and reference the “Blaire Leavitt” homicide.”