Man Charged With Murder Of Missing Utah Student

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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The person of interest in the case of missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has been charged with murder, Salt Lake City police announced Friday.

Ayoola Ajayi, 31, has been the person of interest throughout the almost two-week-long investigation into Lueck’s disappearance. Lueck, 23, was dropped off at her home from the airport by a Lyft driver early in the morning June 17 after attending a family funeral and disappeared. Ajayi, who was born and raised in Africa, has been arrested for Lueck’s murder.


“After an exhaustive week of investigation, we are filing charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body in the homicide of Mackenzie Lueck,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said Friday at a press conference. “The man charged with these crimes is the person of interest.”

The investigation found Ajayi and Lueck’s cell phones were close to each other during the time of Lueck’s disappearance. Detectives searched Ajayi’s home Wednesday. Neighbors said they saw him burning something using gasoline June 17 and 18, CNN reported.

Female human tissue was recovered at the burn site that was consistent with Lueck’s DNA. Charred items were also identified as Lueck’s, Brown told reporters, according to CNN. (RELATED: Illegal Immigrant Charged With Murder Of Iowa College Student Mollie Tibbits)

Ajayi self-published a book in 2018 titled “Forge Identity,” which, according to GoodReads, involves a character who witnesses murders. Ajayi allegedly burned Lueck’s body.

Salt Lake City police referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to its Facebook page for information.

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