LOCAL NEWS

Remembering Mackenzie: “A Lot Of Students Are Going Through A Difficult Time”

Jul 1, 2019, 6:27 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There was a feeling of loss at the University of Utah Monday night, two weeks after the disappearance of 23-year-old student Mackenzie Lueck.

“A lot of students are going through a difficult time,” said student body president AnnaMarie Barnes.

The investigation into Lueck’s disappearance and death is ongoing as they continue to follow leads and process evidence like the mattress and box spring they recovered on Friday.

Earlier that day swat officers, with guns drawn, arrested 31 year old Ayoola Ajayi outside an apartment complex in Salt Lake.

Investigators say Ajayi communicated with Mackenzie on June 16, though police have not said how.

The next day, Lueck took a lyft ride from Salt Lake International Airport to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, which is the last place she was seen alive.

Police say Ajayi kidnapped and murdered Lueck desecrated her body and burned and hid evidence at his home. Disturbing details that offer little closure and no comfort.

“It’s incredibly heartbreaking,” Barnes said. “And our students are going through a lot with it.”

Barnes didn’t know Mackenzie personally, but has spoken with her friends and sorority sisters.

“They’ve just expressed how genuine and how caring of a person she was and how she was always going out of her way.”

On Monday, Barnes said a vigil on campus was meant to provide a safe place for students and community members “to grieve and to show their support to Mackenzie loved ones and family. And just hopefully start the healing process that we all need to go through.”

One of those students, and a fellow sorority sister wrote that Lueck “was the kind of person who lived life to the fullest…She was a ball of light and love and she would have wanted us to celebrate her.”

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Remembering Mackenzie: “A Lot Of Students Are Going Through A Difficult Time”