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Suspects with violent pasts arrested in relation to 2009 cold case homicide

Posted at 12:48 PM, Jan 12, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — More than a decade after a man was shot and killed while driving his vehicle on I-15, officials have arrested two suspects who they believe played a part in the crime.

Nicholas Dean MacNeil, 32, and Aaron Campbell, 33, were booked into jail and each face one count of Murder, a first-degree felony.

On January 9, 2009, two brothers were driving on I-15 in Salt Lake County when another vehicle pulled alongside them and shots were fired.

The shots hit the man who was driving, identified as Cesar Ramirez, and he later died at the hospital from injuries sustained in the shooting.

Individuals have since told officials that the shooting happened after an argument between the suspects and the victim, who were believed to have been rival gang members.

The man who was driving the second vehicle was identified as Matthew Day and arrested shortly after the shooting happened but investigators found he was not the shooter in the incident. They then dedicated their efforts to trying to find the other individuals who were present at the time of the shooting.

Court documents allege MacNeil and Campbell were passengers in the second vehicle and pulled the trigger.

The case initially went cold after the shooting, but in 2019 officials said a reward solicited some help from the public.

According to arrest documents, "several individuals" spoke with MacNeil and Campbell after the shooting and they allegedly admitted to having fired shots.

"MacNeil and Campbell are associated with the Nortenos gang and have a history of violent criminal activity," the Department of Public Safety said in a press release.

Due to the violence associated with both suspects and the crime, the safety of witnesses is the primary concern in the case, officials explained.

MacNeil is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail and Campbell is being held with bail.