Police Release New Photos, Info In Mackenzie Lueck Murder Case
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than 18 months after University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck was abducted and murdered, we have new insight into the police investigation.
In response to a public records request submitted by KSL TV, the Salt Lake City Police Department released hundreds of documents, photos and videos Wednesday.
Already known was how a dating app and cell phone records initially prompted police to focus on 32-year-old Ayoola Ajayi.
Officials had already released information into Mackenzie’s disappearance and murder. The latest information released gave insight into the investigation in a new way – through the words of the family, detectives and the suspect himself.
The police investigation began almost four days after this last sighting of McKenzie Lueck, at the Salt Lake International airport.
After being unable to reach his daughter for several days, her father called police.
“Yeah, I’d like to get, if possible, have a wellness check done on my daughter,” he told emergency dispatchers after calling 911. “I’ve been trying to get ahold of her all week.”
Officers went to McKenzie’s apartment to see if she was there.
“I’m out here at her apartment,” one officer could be heard saying on body cam video. “Her car is here, but she is not answering the door.”
Six days later, with McKenzie still missing, Salt Lake Police served a search warrant at the home of Ayoola Ajayi.
It was that day police first questioned their primary suspect.
“So, detectives are ready to talk to you about everything that’s going on, so if you want to come, I’ll give you a ride back to the house,” an officer could be heard telling Ajayi.
Two days later, after searches inside the home and the backyard turned up evidence pointing to McKenzie, detectives tracked Ajayi to a friend’s home.
“How did you know where I am?” he asked them.
“I’m the police,” an officer responded.
During a nine minute phone call, a detective coaxed Ajayi to come outside.
Police knew Ajayi was the last person to see McKenzie.
“What kind of car do you drive?” the detective asked. “We have video of you at the park… I know already that your phones met up there. I want you to explain that.”
Detectives questioned Ajayi over the course of several hours, never losing their focus on the young college student who would never talk to her father again.
“This is 100 percent focused on not you, on McKenzie,” one detective said. “My focus is on her.”
Prosecutors reached a plea agreement with 32-year-old Ayoola Ajayi in October.
He faced felony charges of criminal homicide/aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and the abuse or desecration of a human body.
As part of the agreement, Ajayi pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and abuse or desecration of a human body. The aggravated kidnapping and obstruction charges were dropped.
In exchange for the guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed that Ajayi would serve life in prison with no chance for parole, rather than seeking the death penalty.
#BREAKING: Ayoola Ajayi, 32, enters GUILTY plea for Agg. Murder & Desecration of a Human Body surrounding death of Mackenzie Lueck last year. He will also plead guilty to Forcible Sexual Abuse. Ajayi will spend his life in prison w/o possibility of parole as part of deal. @KSL5TV
— Brittany Glas (@BrittanyGlasTV) October 7, 2020
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