SALT LAKE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) — Police have filed charges of aggravated murder against a man suspected of killing missing Utah college student Mackenzie Lueck, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said in a Friday news conference. The suspect, identified by Brown as Ayoola Ajayi, also faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body.

Lueck, a 23-year-old senior at the University of Utah, has been missing since about 3 a.m. on June 17, when she was dropped off by a Lyft in a park where she met another individual, according to police. All communication from Lueck ceased at that time.

“Mackenzie was met at Hatch Park by an individual in a vehicle,” Salt Lake City Police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt told reporters Monday. “The Lyft driver left Mackenzie at the park with that person and stated that Mackenzie did not appear to be in any type of distress.”

A University of Utah student who took a late-night Lyft ride from the airport last week has not been seen since, Salt Lake City police said.

Analysis of her phone records show her last communication was with the suspect. Police said he denied meeting her in person at any time, but cell tower records show both their phones were at Hatch Park within one minute of each other on June 17 at approximately 3 a.m.

Mackenzie Lueck (CNN)

This week, SLCPD served a search warrant on the suspect’s house in the Fairpark neighborhood. Investigators found ammunition and multiple items of evidence, according to police.

(credit: Salt Lake City Police Department)

Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking told CNN that investigators are also looking into reports that the homeowner burned items in his back yard on June 17 and 18.

Investigators found a fresh dig area in the spot where a neighbor reported seeing the fire. Investigators found charred female human tissue. DNA testing confirmed the remains belong to Lueck.

Investigators are looking for a mattress and box spring that were given away from the home last week, Chief Mike Brown said. He asked that whoever took them contact the Salt Lake City Police Department.

(credit: Salt Lake City Police Department)

“We are looking to find this mattress as well as a box spring in relation to this case. These items were possibly given away from 547 N. 1000 W. If you picked up these items please contact us at 801-799-3000.”

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply