Police name six people believed to be connected to a 2019 murder in Salt Lake City

Feb 15, 2022, 5:15 PM
salt lake city murder victim blaire leavitt...
A framed photo of Blaire Leavitt shown during a press conference updating the details of her case. Photo: Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY – Police identified six people who they call suspects in the murder of a woman at a Salt Lake City apartment complex in 2019.  However, they’re not ready to make arrests or recommend charges, yet. 

2019 murder suspects identified by Salt Lake City police

Investigators say they were called to a burglary in progress in July of 2019 at an apartment near Redwood Road and 1200 North in Salt Lake City.  On the way, police learned about reports of shots fired. As they arrived, they found Blaire Leavitt with gunshot wounds and tried to save her; she died from her injuries.

Since then, police watched several people with possible ties to the case. Blaire’s mother, Marie Leavitt, says she has been waiting a long time for justice.

“I’m not going to give up until all the suspects, all those cowards out there have been brought to justice,” she said.

A plea to the Pacific Islander community

Leavitt spoke directly to the state’s Pacific Islander community during a press conference on Tuesday.  She believes the people behind her daughter’s murder have spilled some of the details of the crime to their friends, and she wants people to tell officers what they’ve heard.

“I know that the Polynesian community here in Salt Lake is huge, I know that there are people out there who know things about this case,” Leavitt says.  “I’m going to plead with you and ask you to put yourselves in my shoes and my family’s shoes.”

(Pictures of the suspects that Salt Lake investigators believe are connected to the death of Blaire Leavitt. The pictures were shown on the department’s media wall during a press conference Tuesday.)

Salt Lake City police believe Katoa Pahulu, Lachelle Fiefia, Mapilivai Laulea, Sunia Cavazos, Tevita Kofutua, and Timote Fonua all played a role in Leavitt’s murder. They also believe one of those six people is the shooter.  All of them have been questioned by officers since the shooting. However, Captain Victor Siebeneck says police still need more information to make their case complete.

“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,” Siebeneck said. 

No arrests have been made in the case; Siebeneck called on the suspects to tell police what they know.

“It’s time you come forward.  You’ve been running from this for far too long,” he said.

Investigators say this is still an active investigation, so they’re not at liberty to talk about a possible motive.

Related articles:

Today’s Top Stories


break car window dog...
Mark Jones

Dog dies after being left in hot car for more than an hour

A dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car for more than an hour, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
23 hours ago
Utah Highway Patrol stopped 4,937 vehicles over the Fourth of July weekend....
Mark Jones

Busy Fourth of July weekend for Utah Highway Patrol

In statistics released Tuesday, the Utah Highway Patrol says its Troopers made contact with 4,937 drivers over the Fourth of July weekend, making it a busy one.
23 hours ago
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022, in Highla...
Amir Vera, Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus and Helen Regan, CNN

Highland Park parade shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of murder, state’s attorney says

Officials in Illinois have filed seven counts of first-degree murder against the individual suspected of being involved in the Highland Park shooting Monday.
23 hours ago
A sign with the Taylorsville Police Department logo reads "Police Department"...
Aimee Cobabe and Samantha Herrera

Man in custody after high-speed chase through Taylorsville

A high-speed chase through Taylorsville Monday afternoon led to the arrest of a 51-year-old man who police say violated his felony probation.
23 hours ago
People leave Field's shopping centre, after Danish police said they received reports of shooting, i...
Kim Norgaard, Pierre Meilhan and Jorge Engels, CNN

Several people killed in Copenhagen mall shooting, police say

shooting at a mall in Copenhagen has left several people dead, local police said Sunday.
3 days ago
Image from the scene of the shooting on South Major street in Salt Lake City (Photo courtesy of SLC...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: SLCPD arrest two in connection to Sunday’s Ballpark neighborhood shooting

Police received multiple calls regarding shots fired near 1485 South Major Street at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 3, 2022. 
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Police name six people believed to be connected to a 2019 murder in Salt Lake City