Salt Lake City murder suspect arrested in California following standoff

Posted at 6:14 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 09:09:48-04

SAN MATEO, Calif. — A suspect allegedly connected to the 2019 murder of a Salt Lake City woman was arrested following a standoff in California on Thursday.

Timote Fonua, 42, was taken into custody and charged with one count of murder in the death of Blaire Leavitt. The arrest came exactly three years after someone kicked down the door of Leavitt's apartment and fatally shot her in the head.

A framed photo of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt on display during a news conference at SLCPD headquarters on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

Earlier this year, police named six suspects in the murder, all believed to have played some role in Leavitt's death.

Salt Lake City police said they received information Thursday that Fonua had been arrested by local police in San Mateo, California after a SWAT standoff. Officials did not announce what led to the standoff prior to Fonua being taken into custody.

Kathryn Blaire Leavitt suspects.jpg
Salt Lake City police shared photos of six suspects believed to be involved in the murder of a 27-year-old woman in 2019.

Fonua is the third of the six suspects to have been arrested in 2022. In February, Lachelle Fiefia, 36, was was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. A month later, Katoa Pahulu, 26, turned himself in to police in Hawaii on an outstanding warrant in relation to the homicide.