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Mackenzie Lueck’s Remains Found In Logan Canyon

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The remains of University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck have been recovered in Logan Canyon, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Lueck’s remains were found Wednesday. Police did not say whether investigators had searched the area, or if the remains had been found by someone else.

Chief Mike Brown made the announcement at a media briefing Friday morning. He said forensic analysis confirmed the body recovered was that of the 23-year-old.

Lueck went missing Monday, June 17 after being dropped off by a ride share driver at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake.

The suspect, 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, had spent time in Logan. Officials at Utah State University said Ajayi was enrolled for several “short periods” beginning in 2009, but he did not graduate, nor did he declare a major.

Lueck had been in California for her grandmother’s funeral. Police were able to track Lueck’s digital footprint from the Salt Lake International Airport to the park, where her phone stopped transmitting data and location information.

In the hours between when her flight landed and she went missing, investigators determined Lueck had been in text communication with Ajayi.

Investigators executed a search warrant at Ajayi’s Salt Lake City home, where they found evidence that led them to take him into custody.

Suspect’s Time In Logan:

Neighbors told police Ajayi built a fire fueled by gasoline in his backyard the same day Lueck went missing and the following day.

Detectives found the location where the fire had burned, and found charred items belonging to Lueck. They also found charred female human tissue that matched the woman’s DNA profile.

Ajayi was being held in the Salt Lake County Metro Jail, awaiting formal charges in Lueck’s homicide.

He faced charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a body and obstruction of justice.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he planned to file those charges early next week. He said the investigation remained active, as police worked to gather additional evidence in the case.

Chief Brown said investigators continued to work the case around the clock, gathering evidence to help make the case against Ajayi.

“Over the last two weeks they have worked thousands of hours,” Brown said of officers.

Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski said, “The police department has been diligent, following up on every little lead, and have put their lives on hold while doing this work.”

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