The Salt Lake City police chief announced that they had recovered the remains of slain University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck. Her remains were found about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City, UT, in Logan Canyon, KSL Broadcasting announced on Friday. Police declined to specify the condition of her body or a cause of death.
“I am relieved and grief-stricken to report that we have recovered Mackenzie Lueck,” Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement. “I spoke with Mackenzie’s family this morning. Despite their grief, we hope this will help them find some closure and justice.”
Ayoola Ajayi, the 31-year-old man charged with Lueck’s murder, has a history of violence against women. His estranged wife, Tenisha, said that Ajayi was “aggressive” and abusive throughout their relationship, and often threatened to have someone kidnap and kill her if she didn’t listen to any of his demands. Ajayi also allegedly sexually assaulted a coworker in 2014.
Ajayi was arrested on June 28 for aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a body after police found some of Lueck’s DNA in his backyard. He was first tied to the case when Salt Lake City police tracked Lueck’s cell phone data and it matched that of Ajayi. Brown also said that Ajayi was the last person Lueck texted before her disappearance. His connection to Lueck and his motive are still unknown.
Lueck disappeared on June 17 after taking a Lyft from Salt Lake City International Airport to a Hatch Park address in North Salt Lake, where she was last seen that morning at 3 a.m. Lueck, 23, was slated to graduate from the University of Utah in 2020 with a degree in kinesiology and pre-nursing.