Police Have Arrested a 31-Year-Old Man for Mackenzie Lueck’s Murder

Shannon Barbour
Photo credit: Salt Lake City Police Department

From Cosmopolitan

Update: June 28, 2019, 2 p.m.

Police have arrested a man and charged him with the kidnapping and murder of Mackenzie Lueck. NBC reports that a 31-year-old named Ayoola Ajayi is being charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and other charges.

According to AP, authorities say Ajayi is the person Lueck met at the park after taking a Lyft from the airport. It's unclear how they knew each other, but authorities claim they found burned evidence-including DNA from Lueck-at Ajayi's home.

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said he had to call Lueck's parents to tell them. “This is one of the most difficult phone calls I have ever made as both Greg and his wife Diana are devastated, are broken by this news," he said, according to NBC.

The arrest happened Friday morning.

Update: June 27, 2019, 5 p.m.

Police are still searching for 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck, who went missing after taking a Lyft, but they’ve now found “multiple items of evidence” while searching for her.

CNN reports that while searching a house in Salt Lake City in connection with Lueck’s disappearance, the police found evidence. They have yet to disclose what that evidence is, but the homeowner is not in police custody.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is now looking for a box spring and mattress that were given away from the Fairpark home a week ago. Whoever took them needs to contact the police.

Original story: June 24, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

Police are searching for Mackenzie Lueck, a 23-year-old University of Utah student who went missing after taking a Lyft from the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Mackenzie was on her way back to Utah from California, where she had gone to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Her flight touched down at the Salt Lake City International Airport at 1 a.m. Monday, June 17, when she texted her parents to tell them she landed. After three days of not hearing from her, on June 20, her parents reported her missing, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

As police began to investigate, it was revealed that Mackenzie took a Lyft ride to North Salt Lake, which is where she had requested to go. Ashley Fine, one of her Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters, said Mackenzie doesn’t live there and she has no idea why she would request to go to the North Salt Lake area.

According to Ashley, Mackenzie’s phone has been off since Monday and she’s been inactive on social media. One of her other friends added, “It’s not like her to go off the grid, and if she did, then she would tell me.” Mackenzie also hasn’t been to work or school, and her car and cat are still at her house.

Lyft stated there was nothing off about her ride. The driver, who went on to pick up other riders throughout the night and is cooperating with the investigation, said Mackenzie was meeting someone at Hatch Park around 3 a.m. and didn’t seem distressed when she got there. The person Mackenzie met up with was reportedly in a car, but it’s not clear if she got in it with them.

As of Monday, June 25, the police are looking for her but haven’t searched North Salt Lake because there’s no evidence she stayed there, according to Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer. He explained, “We don’t have anyone searching any particular area right now because we don’t have any credible evidence of where she might be.” He also reportedly said there’s nothing to suggest she’s in danger “other than the fact she hasn’t been heard from.”



Mackenzie’s family released a statement saying, “Our primary goal is to find Mackenzie and bring her home. Her family is grateful for the concern, prayers, and the tireless efforts of the Salt Lake City Police and members of the community.”

Those who may have information regarding Mackenzie are encouraged to call (801) 799-3000.


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