Utah police say they have found body of slain college student Mackenzie Lueck

The body of Mackenzie Lueck, a student at the University of Utah, was found in a canyon north of Salt Lake City, police said Friday.

Police said Lueck's body was recovered about 85 miles from a Salt Lake City backyard where other remains were uncovered last week, The Associated Press reported.


Lueck's body was recovered from Logan Canyon on Wednesday. Authorities confirmed her identity forensically, stating that the DNA matched tissue found last week, the Salt Lake City Police Department tweeted Friday.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said during a news conference that he was “relieved and grief-stricken” to find Lueck's remains.

Lueck, 23, was last seen in the early hours of June 17, when she returned to Salt Lake City from visiting family, police said.

She arrived at the Salt Lake City airport and took a Lyft to an address in North Salt Lake, where she met another individual before vanishing.

On June 28, police arrested 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi in connection with her death and said they expected him to face charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body. He is being held without bail.

Ajayi told police in an interview that he had text conversations with Lueck the day before her death but claimed nothing happened subsequently. He denied knowing what Lueck looked like and having any personal contact with her.

Phone records showed both Lueck’s and Ajayi’s phones to be in the same location within less than a minute of each other. It was around this time that her phone stopped receiving any more data or location services, police wrote in a statement.

Neighbors also told police that on June 17 and June 18 they saw Ajayi trying to burn something in his backyard with gasoline.

When they searched the area, officials found “several charred items that were consistent with personal items of Mackenzie Lueck,” Brown said.

Lueck was a member of a sorority and a part-time senior at the University of Utah studying kinesiology and pre-nursing, according to The Associated Press.

Ajayi is an information technology worker who briefly worked with high-profile companies and served shortly in the Army National Guard.