Police & Fire

Two suspects arrested in connection with 2009 cold case homicide

SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were arrested on January 11 in connection with a 14-year-old homicide cold case.

Agents from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s State Bureau of Investigation, in partnership with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, believe Nicholas Dean MacNeil and Aaron J. Paul Campbell are the two men who fired shots at a car on January 9, 2009, killing Cesar Ramirez.

According to a statement from the Utah DPS, following an altercation between two rival gangs on the west side of Salt Lake City, MacNeil and Campbell, riding in a black Nissan Maxima, followed Ramirez and his brother, driving a green Jeep Grand Cherokee, onto I-15.

Shots were fired from the Nissan into the Jeep resulting in the death of Ramirez.

The driver of the Nissan, Matthew Day, was later arrested and convicted of manslaughter, but police revamped their search efforts for the other two men after they determined that Day was not the shooter.

MacNeil and Campbell are associated with the Nortenos gang and have a history of violent criminal activity.

This break in the case is the cumulative result of 14 years of investigative interviews and help from the public after the department offered a $5,000 award for information leading to a conviction in the case.

“Due to the violent past of MacNeil and Campbell, the safety of witnesses is one of the prosecutors’ and investigators’ primary concerns,” said a statement from the Utah DPS. “That, along with constitutional considerations, leaves few case details available for public release.”

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