Police say missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck was killed, and her suspected murderer has been taken into custody.
What are the details?
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown held a press conference Friday, where he announced that Lueck, 23, had been abducted and killed, and her burned remains were found in the yard of a Salt Lake City home. The owner of the property, Ayoola Ajayi, 31, has been arrested and faces charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping, and desecration of a body, Time reported.
Brown told reporters he called to inform Lueck’s parents of the terrible discovery earlier that day. “This is one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made,” he said. “We are devastated and heartbroken by this news.”
Lueck went missing on June 17, after being dropped off at a Salt Lake City Park by a Lyft driver around 3 a.m. Police say Ajayi had communicated with Lueck electronically the day before, and met her at the park where she disappeared.
Ajayi was identified as a person of interest in Lueck’s disappearance prior to his arrest via SWAT raid. Investigators searched his home Wednesday and Thursday, and found Lueck’s remains along with some of her personal possessions buried in the back yard. Police said Ajayi’s neighbors reported seeing the suspect using gasoline to fuel a fire one night, around the date Lueck went missing.
A Utah repairman told Fox News Ajayi had asked him a few months ago about getting an estimate for “building a secret door and adding hooks to the wall” in his basement. Brian Wolf told the outlet he turned down the job because he was “weirded out” by the man’s requests.
Brown said investigators are now looking into whether Ajayi acted alone in the murder, or if he had any accomplices.
Arrest made in case of missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck
Lueck was in her final year as a kinesiology and pre-nursing major at the University of Utah. She was from El Segundo in southern California.