Body of Murdered University of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck Has Been Found
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said officers recovered the 23-year-old woman's body on Wednesday from Logan Canyon
The body of slain 23-year-old University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has been found, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said at a press conference on Friday.
Chief Brown said Lueck’s remains were recovered on Wednesday from Logan Canyon.
“…I am relieved and grief-stricken to report that we have recovered Mackenzie Lueck from Logan Canyon,” Brown said, noting that his team had been working “around the clock” to find the missing woman’s body.
“We were able to forensically confirm it was her,” Brown said, noting that he had alerted Lueck’s family to the tragic new development earlier this morning in “another devastating call.”
“Despite their grief, we hope this will help them find some closure,” Brown said.
He did not give further details on how she was found or the condition of the body.
Last Friday, a man named Ayoola Ajayi, 31, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body.
According to investigators, Lueck disappeared on June 17 after taking a Lyft to a Salt Lake City park from the airport. At the park, she met up with a man in another vehicle. Authorities now believe that mystery person was Ajayi.
Lueck was last seen June 17 and her family reported her missing June 20.
Ajayi has not yet had a hearing to enter a plea or determine whether he can be freed on bail. It is unclear whether Ajayi has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Formal charges are expected to be filed against Ajayi early next week, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill stated at Friday’s press conference.
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The recovery of Lueck’s body follows reports that Ajayi allegedly tried, in early April, to hire an independent contractor to construct a secret, soundproof room beneath his front porch.
Brian Wolf told the Deseret News he ultimately turned down the job after Ajayi asked if hooks could be installed in the walls of the hidden space.
“As soon as he said he wanted the hooks above head height, I was like, ‘Why do you need big hooks up there?’” recalled Wolf of his April 4 meeting with Ajayi. “And he said it was to hang a wine rack. I said, ‘Well, I can hang a wine rack and make it look a lot nicer than these big, gaudy hooks.’”
Lueck’s family and friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help defray some of her funeral costs.