Oakland man identified as suspect in Utah homicide, arrested on Maui

Katoa Pahulu, 26. PC: Maui Police Department

A California man was arrested on Maui after being named as a suspect in a 2019 murder investigation involving the death of a woman in Utah.

Katoa Pahulu, 26, of Oakland, was one of six suspects identified by Salt Lake City police last month in connection with the homicide of Blaire Leavitt and/or the obstruction of justice following her death.

Leavitt was found at a Utah residence on  July 27, 2019 with a gunshot wound, and was transported to the hospital, but died, according to information compiled by the Salt Lake City Police Department.

SLCPD contacted the Maui Police Department for assistance in locating and arresting Pahulu. Members of the Criminal Reduction Unit made contact with Pahulu’s family and asked that he turn himself in, according to an MPD spokesperson.

On Friday, March 18, 2022, Pahulu turned himself in at the KÄ«hei Police Station and was arrested without incident.  He is being held at MCCC without bail awaiting extradition.

The other five suspects included: Lachelle Fiefia, 36; Mapilivai Laulea, 26; Sunia Cavazos, 22; Tevita Kofutua, 37; and Timote Fonua, 41.

Salt Lake City police identify 6 suspects in 2019 homicide of Blaire Leavitt. PC: Salt Lake City Police Department

In a press conference held last month, SLCPD said the Homicide Squad had verified that all six individuals were present at the time of the homicide and/or had some sort of role in the case immediately after.

At the time of the press briefing, none of the suspects identified were arrested or charged.

Salt Lake City Police provide an update on the investigation into the homicide of Blaire Leavitt. (Feb. 15, 2022)

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