SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- Aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a human body and obstruction of justice charges have been filed against Ayoola ‘AJ’ Ajayi, 31 in connection with the Mackenzie Lueck case.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Brown made the announcement during a Friday morning press conference.
“Investigations of both the arrested person’s and Mackenzie’s phone records show the location of their phones to be at Hatch Park within less than a minute of each other. This was the same time as Mackenzie’s phone stopped receiving any further data or location services,” Chief Brown said.
Mackenzie’s last known location was at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake around 3 a.m.
A search warrant was served on Ajayi’s home Wednesday night.
Chief Brown said during the investigation detectives spoke with neighbors who claimed Ajayi burned “something in his backyard with the use of gasoline” on June 17th and 18th.
“A forensic excavation of the burn area was conducted which resulted in the finding of several charred items that were consistent with person items of Mackenzie Lueck,” Chief Brown said. “Other charred material was located which has now been forensically determined as female human tissue.”
Chief Brown said a DNA profile confirmed the tissue belonged to Mackenzie.
At 9:20 a.m. Friday SWAT officers surrounded the Parkside Condominiums at 1028 South West Temple where Ajayi was staying. He and another man were taken into custody.
Angelina Williams was in the apartment building visiting her family; she said, “We’re all pretty scared, we freaked out when we realized there was a murderer in our apartment complex. We can’t believe it.”
“Ezekiel was almost 15 when he witnessed a gruesome murder. An angry mob burned his neighbor alive in the street and the man died at his feet,” the summary read.
ABC4’s Marcos Ortiz worked on gathering information on Ajayi before his identity was released. Here’s what we know about him so far.
In addition, Brian Wolf, a local contractor, told Fox News on Friday the individual who owned that home reached out to him in April and asked him to build a “soundproof” room there.
“He slowly added on other requests, like building a secret door and adding hooks to the wall,” Wolf said to Fox News, explaining how the individual asked him to come to the home and give him an estimate for the potential project.
Wolf added the person said he wanted construction done as soon as possible, “before his girlfriend got back into town.”
Chief Brown said they are working to see if anyone else was involved in her murder. The identity of the other man taken into custody at the Parkside Condominiums Friday morning has not been released.
Mackenzie was 23 years old and majoring in kinesiology at the University of Utah. She planned to graduate in spring 2020.
This is a developing story. Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.