- A man has been arrested and charged in the case of MacKenzie Lueck, a missing University of Utah student, the police in Salt Lake City said in a press conference on Friday.
- The police said Ayoola Ajayi had been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a body.
- Lueck was last seen on June 17, when she took a Lyft from Salt Lake City International Airport to a park. The police said they believe she met Ajayi at the park and that she was killed early that day.
- Charred personal belongings and human remains were found at Ajayi’s home, authorities said during the press conference.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A man has been arrested and charged in the case of MacKenzie Lueck, 23, a missing University of Utah student, the police in Salt Lake City said in a press conference on Friday.
The police said that Ayoola Ajayi, 31, had been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a body.
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 28, 2019
Police believe Lueck is dead
The police said they believe Lueck was killed early on June 17. Charred personal belongings and the remains of a woman were found at Ajayi’s home, authorities said during the press conference.
They said Lueck took an early-morning Lyft ride from Salt Lake City International Airport to Hatch Park, where she met Ajayi.
Authorities said Lueck left the park with Ajayi around 3 a.m., when all communications from her stopped.
Her friends and family considered it “highly unusual and suspect that MacKenzie would not have any communications or social-media activity despite multiple attempts to contact her,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said during the news conference.
Records from Lueck’s and Ajayi’s phones show that they were both at Hatch Park within less than a minute of each other around 3 a.m. on June 17 and that her last communications were with Ajayi, Brown said.
Brown said Ajayi told the police that he and Lueck texted on June 16 but that “he did not know what MacKenzie looked like and denied having seen a photo or online profile of MacKenzie, despite having several photos of her and the profile photo.”
Brown said the police were still investigating to determine whether Ajayi acted alone.
Brown said he called Lueck’s father after Ajayi’s arrest, which the police chief described as “one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made.”
“The Lueck family would like to express their gratitude for the effort put forward by the Salt Lake City Police Department and all partnering agencies that assisted, as well as all of the people that provided tips on this case,” Lueck’s uncle said at the press conference. “They are also grateful to her community, her friends, and others around the nation who have supported this investigation.”
The University of Utah said in a statement on Monday that Lueck was a senior studying kinesiology and pre-nursing.
Ajayi is being held in the county jail in Salt Lake City. He has yet to enter a plea in the case.
- Read more:
- Australian student who lives in North Korea reportedly detained ahead of possible third US summit
- An American couple has gone missing after going Jet Skiing in Barbados
- A 10-month-old baby is dead and 3 migrants are missing after their raft overturned in the Rio Grande
- A 2-year-old boy in Virginia disappeared from his bed in the middle of the night
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.