SALT LAKE CITY — After an exhaustive weeklong investigation, Salt Lake police somberly announced Friday that they believe a University of Utah student missing since June 17 was murdered.A man who police say she met up with on June 17 in a North Salt Lake park was arrested in connection with the death of 23-year-old…

SALT LAKE CITY — After an exhaustive weeklong investigation, Salt Lake police somberly offered Friday that they imagine a College of Utah student missing since June 17 was as soon as murdered.

A one who police converse she met up with on June 17 in a North Salt Lake park was as soon as arrested in reference to the loss of life of 23-twelve months-venerable Mackenzie Lueck.

“It is with heavy coronary heart that I tackle you at the moment time,” Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown said in announcing the arrest.

Ayoola Adisa Ajayi, 31, was as soon as taken into custody at 9:20 a.m. at an house complex at 1028 S. West Temple by a SWAT team of workers. He was as soon as later booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated atomize, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a human physique and obstruction of justice. He’s being held with out bail.

The SWAT team of workers had Ajayi exit an house at gunpoint and stroll in direction of waiting officers with his hands on his head. In a describe of the arrest, it appears to be like Ajayi is talking to any individual on his cell phone. Salt Lake police confirmed Friday that one day, the SWAT team of workers talked to him by cell phone to have him attain out of the house.

A second man who was as soon as in the an identical house was as soon as also placed in handcuffs and brought from the scene. Police converse they questioned that man but later launched him and converse he has no connection to the Lueck case.

After announcing that Ajayi was as soon as in custody, Brown said he would no longer be announcing the suspect’s title again.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Space of labor was as soon as anticipated to have a study the case for formal criminal prices Friday, but prices are no longer anticipated unless next week.

The arrest comes a day after Ajayi was as soon as named a “particular person of passion” in Lueck’s disappearance after Salt Lake police spent all of Wednesday night and into Thursday morning looking out his house in the Fairpark neighborhood.

Luggage and baggage of proof had been gathered. Officers would maybe well also be considered digging holes in the yard. Neighbors instructed detectives that they had noticed Ajayi on June 17 and June 18 burning something in his yard.

“The quest warrant resulted in the findings of a fresh dig situation on his property, which is the an identical situation that the arrested particular person was as soon as reported burning something. A forensic excavation of the burn situation was as soon as performed, which resulted in the finding of lots of charred items which have been in retaining with internal most items of Mackenzie Lueck,” Brown said.

Gasoline was as soon as also historical for the length of these burnings, police said.

The quest of these charred items also resulted in the finding of “female human tissue” that was as soon as tested and in contrast with DNA from diversified items belonging to Lueck. Brown said the DNA matched.

But the manager declined to recount Friday whether or no longer Lueck’s physique had been recovered.

“This investigation will proceed. We’re soundless purchasing for any individual that can even have helped this arrested particular person, and any diversified proof that would provide proof for us to exercise on this case,” Brown said.

When requested extra straight — “Attain you have got a physique?” — the manager answered: “We’re no longer confirming that aesthetic now.”

On Friday evening, Salt Lake police offered that they had located the mattress and field spring Ajayi gave away earlier this week after providing it on a web web page online. Investigators had said they believed two separate of us took the items.

After the arrest, Brown said he known as Lueck’s father.

“This is most likely one of the essential complex cell phone calls I’ve ever made,” he said, “as every Greg and his wife, Diana, had been devastated and heartbroken by this info.”

An uncle of Lueck, who declined to be identified, read a ready converse at the click convention. He thanked Salt Lake police for their efforts, and the neighborhood for the entire techniques that they had equipped to police.

Lueck was as soon as last considered early on the morning of June 17 when she flew into Salt Lake City Global Airport after attending a family funeral in her region of initiating of El Segundo, California. Surveillance video at the airport recorded Lueck making her manner to baggage claim, and then coming into a Lyft car.

The Lyft driver instructed police he dropped off Lueck at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake about 3 a.m. the set one other particular person in a car was as soon as waiting for her. That was as soon as when “all verbal replace” from Lueck’s cell phone stopped, the manager said.

On Friday, Brown said cell phone info gathered from every Lueck’s and Ajayi’s telephones set them at Hatch Park at the an identical time early that morning.

Investigators confirmed that Lueck and Ajayi had communicated with every diversified by texting on June Sixteen about 6 p.m. Brown didn’t know how long the 2 had been acquainted, when they first met or how the 2 met every diversified.

Cell phone info and social media apps was a immense fragment in the investigation as properly as forensics. Brown praised his detectives on Friday for working nonstop since Lueck was as soon as first reported missing on June 20, as properly as the partnerships his division has with the FBI and others in bringing a transient resolution to the case.

“This was as soon as famed detective work, and this was as soon as decreasing-edge investigation. When we talk relating to the digital footprint, by the work that we’ve performed, and our federal companions, and then our verbalize companions with the DNA, right here’s a decreasing-edge investigation and right here’s what has led us to this arrest,” Brown said.

Ajayi denied seeing Lueck on June 17 and claimed he didn’t know what she regarded fancy, even supposing Brown said detectives chanced on he had Lueck’s dating profile and photos of her on his cell phone.

“Ayoola denied any internal most contact with Mackenzie or meeting with her at any time,” a police affidavit states.

Starting up air of some web site visitors tickets, Ajayi has no criminal history in Utah. He at one time lived in an house across the boulevard from Hatch Park, the set Lueck was as soon as last considered. Ajayi and his two roommates had been evicted from the North Salt Lake house in 2016 for failing to pay hire, basically basically based entirely on court records.

Ajayi sporadically attended Utah Inform College, taking classes every so often for the length of 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016, when he left after the autumn semester, basically basically based entirely on university officials. He by no manner had a declared predominant or earned a stage.

Friday afternoon, the North Park Police Division issued a converse that Ajayi lived in North Logan from 2013-2015. In 2014, officers investigated a rape allegation against Ajayi, the division mentioned. Nonetheless, the woman “didn’t are attempting to pursue prices on this topic” and no prices had been filed, basically basically based entirely on the converse.

He also did a transient stint with the Military Nationwide Guard, being assigned to an organization out of Tooele, but didn’t help common coaching or any progressed particular particular person coaching, basically basically based entirely on the Utah Nationwide Guard’s public affairs officer. Ajayi left the armed forces in June 2015 after six months “with an uncharacterized discharge for failure to meet clinical procurement standards,” the spokesman said.

Ajayi’s digital footprint contains the particulars of his Airbnb rental in the basement of his house, photography from his days working as a model and an e e-book he self printed on Amazon.

SLCPD took one particular person into custody this morning when it comes to the MacKenzie Lueck case. We are able to be providing an replace at 11:30 a.m at the Public Safety Building. #MacKenzieLueck

— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 28, 2019

Below his Amazon creator profile, Ajayi wrote that he was as soon as born and raised in Africa, and went on to change into a salesman, an entrepreneur and creator. He claims to have “survived a tyrannical dictatorship, escaped a honest existence crime, traveled internationally, excelled professionally in lots of industries” and developed a marketing technique for his e-book, “Forge Identity.”

The fictional e-book chronicles the experiences of a younger man who witnesses two murders in his existence and must lunge on to mediate whether or no longer to pursue a criminal existence or outline his own course, basically basically based entirely on its online description.

Ajayi’s LinkedIn profile indicates he has worked in technical give a in finding to. Most currently, his profile states he started work as technical give a in finding to analyst for Dell in September 2018.

Ajayi has also been married, basically basically based entirely on verbalize court records. A divorce was as soon as finalized in January.

Brown said the division is “devastated and heartbroken” over the of the Lueck case.

“Salt Lake City is a tight-knit, caring, family-oriented neighborhood. And I am hoping we are able to all work collectively to wait on prevent this from ever happening again.”

As word unfold that Lueck had been killed, many equipped their condolences.

“Our hearts exit to the family and pals of Mackenzie Lueck at this very complex time. I used to be as soon as skittish and sickened by at the moment time’s info. I adore the work of our public safety officials and their expert and timely efforts as they work this case to its conclusion,” Gov. Gary Herbert mentioned in a tweet.

“We’re deeply saddened to be taught of the loss of life of College of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck. Our campus neighborhood mourns her tragic loss. We ship our heartfelt condolences to her family and all of us that knew her,” the College of Utah said in a ready converse.

Lueck was as soon as majoring in kinesiology and scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2020.

Carly Reilly was as soon as in the an identical sorority as Lueck. She said she was as soon as in an instant drawn to Lueck’s “outgoing and roam” personality.

“She was as soon as consistently sharp to exit of her manner to wait on any individual, even supposing she had by no manner met them ahead of,” she said. “She consistently had something roam and uplifting to recount in spite of what arrangement you had been in.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski also issued a converse on Friday, and said she had spoken with Lueck’s father.

“As a mother and a mayor, my coronary heart breaks for the Lueck family. In an instant time, all of Salt Lake City mourns for them and stands able to present our give a in finding to,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful to Chief Brown and the contributors of the Salt Lake City Police Division for working diligently to in finding proof that can allow our neighborhood to leer justice for Mackenzie and her family.”

Contributing: McKenzie Romero


Linked Reports