Salt Lake City Police have identified six suspects in the 2019 killing of a Rose Park woman, investigators announced Tuesday.
Kathryn Blaire Leavitt, 27, was shot and killed in her Redwood Road apartment on the morning of July 27, 2019. In the more than two years since then, no suspects have been arrested in her death. But officials said the six people who police identified Tuesday have been questioned.
“Blaire was very, very loved, and still is,” Leavitt’s mother, Marie Leavitt, said during a Tuesday news conference. “I’ve waited two and a half years for this day, and I’m not going to give up until these people — all of them, all the cowards out there — have been brought to justice.”
SLCPD investigations division Capt. Victor Siebeneck said the suspects, who are from Utah and California, all had “some role, or some responsibility” in Leavitt’s slaying. He urged them to come forward and tell police what happened that night.
“All six of these suspects — we are very confident— were present, or like I said, have some role,” Siebeneck said. “One of these suspects is responsible for Miss Blair’s murder. One of these suspects pointed a handgun at her, pulled the trigger and fired the bullet that killed Ms. Leavitt.”
None of the suspects has been charged, and no warrants have been filed for their arrest. The Salt Lake Tribune typically does not identify suspects unless they have been charged with a crime.
Salt Lake City police have not brought the case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office for a formal screening of charges, a spokesperson with the office said Tuesday.
Paul G. Cassell, a former federal judge in Utah and a professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, said the department’s actions in releasing the identities of the suspects — and stating that they are confident the suspects were involved in the crime — before they have been arrested or charged is somewhat unusual, but legal.
“There can be situations where, even before filing, the police are looking for public’s help, and that seems to be what was going on here,” Cassell said.
Salt Lake City police did not say Tuesday how they reportedly linked all six people to the crime or identified them as suspects. The case remains under investigation.
Anyone with information about the case may call SLCPD at 801-799-3000.