Formal murder, kidnapping charges filed in MacKenzie Lueck homicide

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors have filed formal charges in the murder of MacKenzie Lueck.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office charged Ayoola Ajayi with aggravated murder, a capital offense; aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a human body.

The body of Lueck, a University of Utah student, was found last week in Logan Canyon. A search of Ajayi’s home in the Fairpark neighborhood found a burn pit where police said they had recovered some human tissue believed to be her.

Gill said that search turned up human bone, charred muscular tissue, part of a scalp with hair and personal items that included a cellphone.

Neighbors reported seeing Ajayi pouring gasoline on a fire in the backyard and described a “horrible smell.”

Data from Ajayi’s phone led investigators to Logan Canyon, where officers located a “charred human body.” DNA testing confirmed those remains were consistent with Lueck’s DNA profile.

She was found with her arms bound behind her back and a hole in her skull that a medical examiner determined was the result of blunt force trauma.

Lueck’s family reported her missing on June 20 after not hearing from her since June 17. She had texted them to let them know she had landed at the Salt Lake City International Airport after a flight from Los Angeles.

Police said Lueck took a Lyft to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake and met with an unknown person. Gill said evidence shows she was dropped off at the park at 2:59 a.m., nine minutes after she had last texted Ajayi.

Ajayi is expected to appear before a judge sometime in the next day or so.

This is a breaking news story. Updates on FOX 13 and as information becomes available.