CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Suspect in 2019 murder arrested after ‘SWAT standoff’ in California

Jul 29, 2022, 9:09 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:20 am

salt lake city murder victim blaire leavitt...

A framed photo of Blaire Leavitt shown during a press conference updating the details of her case. (Paul Nelson)

(Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Police Department has announced the arrest of a third suspect in the 2019 murder of Blaire Leavitt.

The SLCPD said the suspect, 42-year-old Timote Fonua, was arrested after a SWAT standoff in California. Fonua is accused of one count of murder and one count of aggravated burglary.

According to a press release from the SLCPD, a judge found probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for him on March 16, 2022. Any extradition hearings for Fonua will be held in San Mateo County. 

The arrest comes three years after Leavitt’s murder. She was found in a Salt Lake City home with a gunshot wound to her head on July 27, 2019. She was taken to the hospital but died from her wounds. 

SLCPD homicide detectives conducted an investigation which resulted in detectives learning the identities of six suspects in the murder of Leavitt and the obstruction of justice that has occurred since her death.  

Additional suspects

Earlier this year, detectives arrested a 36-year-old woman for obstruction of justice in connection to the murder. A 26-year-old man in connection to this case was also arrested in March.

No further information on this case is being released. 

This remains an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this case should contact 801-799-3000 and reference the “Blaire Leavitt” homicide.

Related: Woman identified in Heber City homicide, suspect still at large

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Suspect in 2019 murder arrested after ‘SWAT standoff’ in California