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Man arrested, charged with murder in connection with 2019 killing of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt

Timote Fonua, 42, is the third suspect who has been arrested in connection with the killing. In February, police said they had identified six suspects who played “some role” in the killing and/or subsequent obstruction of justice.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Marie Leavitt, the mother of Blaire Leavitt in the photograph at right, who was shot and killed July 27, 2019 at the Apartments on the Green, 1211 N. Redwood Road pleaded for anyone who has more information regarding her daughter's homicide to come forward with that information to Salt Lake City Police Department Investigations unit during a press conference in February. On Friday, July 29, 2022, SLCPD announced the arrest of Timote Fonua, 42, who has been charged with murder and aggravated burglary in relation to the killing.

Following a SWAT standoff in San Mateo, California, a man has been arrested in connection with the 2019 killing of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt, police announced Friday.

Timote Fonua, 42, is charged with one count of murder and one count of aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies, according to officials.

A warrant for Fonua’s arrest was issued by a judge on March 16, and Salt Lake City Police received information that he had been taken into custody following a standoff with a California SWAT team on Wednesday. Any extradition hearings will be held in San Mateo County, officials said.

On July 27, 2019, Salt Lake City Police found Leavitt, 27, injured with a gunshot wound in her Redwood Road apartment. Emergency personnel transported her to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.

More than two years later, in February, police announced they had identified and questioned six suspects, though no arrests had been made at the time.

“All six of these suspects — we are very confident— were present, or like I said, have some role,” SLCPD investigations division Capt. Victor Siebeneck said in February. “One of these suspects is responsible for Ms. Blaire’s murder. One of these suspects pointed a handgun at her, pulled the trigger and fired the bullet that killed Ms. Leavitt.”

Since then, three suspects, including Fonua, have been arrested in connection with the killing.

On Feb. 23, the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Homicide Squad arrested 36-year-old Lachelle Fiefia, who officials say was at Leavitt’s apartment on the night she was shot.

According to a news release, Fiefia allegedly drove two men also involved in the killing to Oakland, California, “despite knowing they had been involved in Ms. Leavitt’s murder.”

Fiefia was booked into jail on one count of felony obstruction of justice, officials said.

On March 18, the Maui Police Department notified SLCPD’s Homicide Squad that a 26-year-old man had turned himself in on an outstanding warrant relating to the 2019 case, according to a news release.

Officials said the arrest warrant was sealed and they were unable to release information regarding the charge or the man’s alleged involvement in the killing.

This remains an ongoing investigation, and officials ask that anyone with information contact 801-799-3000 and reference the Blaire Leavitt homicide.