Missing college student is dead; Man charged with aggravated murder

SALT LAKE CITY — A college student who was last seen 11 days ago in a Salt Lake City park at 3 in the morning was the victim of a kidnapping and homicide, authorities said Friday.

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said 31-year-old Ayoola A. Ajayi will be charged with aggravated murder, kidnaping and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.

He was arrested earlier Friday morning by a SWAT team.

Brown said he told the missing woman's parents in Southern California about the arrest earlier Friday morning.

"This is one of the most difficult phone calls I've ever made," Brown said. "We are devastated and heartbroken by this news.”

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Police say Ajayi met Lueck at a park where she was last seen after taking a Lyft from the airport at 3 a.m.

Brown says burned evidence, including Lueck's things and her remains, was found at his home.

The home was searched on Wednesday and Thursday and Ajayi was the man previously identified as a person of interest.


Lueck disappeared after taking a Lyft June 17 from the airport to a park located miles from her apartment.

Police said she met an unidentified person there at 3 a.m., and did not seem distressed.

Authorities have said the Lyft driver had no connection with her disappearance. The home that police searched Wednesday into Thursday is about 5 miles from the park.

Lueck is a part-time student at the University of Utah in her senior year majoring in kinesiology and pre-nursing.

She has been a student since 2014 and has an off-campus apartment.

She is from El Segundo in the Los Angeles area and flew to California for a funeral before returning to Salt Lake City, police said.

Her family reported her missing on June 20 and became more concerned after she missed a planned flight back to Los Angeles last weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.