A Utah man was arrested Friday for allegedly killing Mackenzie Lueck, a missing student at the University of Utah, according to Salt Lake City police.
Ayoola Ajayi, 31, is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said at a news conference on Friday.
Carbonized tissue containing DNA consistent with samples found in Lueck’s belongings has been recovered, said Brown.
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Giving Lueck’s father the news was “one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made,” Brown said.The Lyft driver told police that Lueck met a person in the park and that he did not appear to be in danger, police said.
The senior student was never seen again.
All communications from Lueck’s cell phone stopped at 3 a.m. in the morning, said Brown.
Telephone records show that Lueck and Ajayi were in Hatch Park less than a minute apart, Brown said.
Lueck’s last communication was with Ajayi, Brown said.
Lueck, a kinesiology student, planned to graduate next year, according to the university.
“The death of Mackenzie Lueck is devastating news,” university president Ruth Watkins said in a statement on Friday. “On behalf of the university, I express our deepest condolences to Mackenzie’s family, friends and classmates during this difficult time.”
While his family and friends are lamenting, Lueck’s connection to the suspect and the details of the alleged crime remain unclear.
Investigators said Thursday they were looking to trace a discarded mattress and box spring from their home, police said.