Category: ayoola ajayi

Defense attorney named in MacKenzie Lueck case

SALT LAKE CITY — A defense attorney has been named to represent Ayoola Ajayi, the man accused of killing 23-year-old University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck.

Susanne Gustin is now representing Ayoola Ajayi, the 31-year-old facing charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a human body and obstruction of justice in Lueck’s death.

Fox 13 caught up with Gustin as she left Salt Lake County Jail Saturday afternoon. Gustin confirmed she is currently representing Ajayi and was there meeting with him, but she does not know if she will represent him throughout the entire case.

“I’m representing him right now; I don’t know if that will continue. Other than that, I can’t reveal any information, sorry,” Gustin said.

Gustin said she will be representing Ajayi during his first court appearance next week.

MacKenzie Lueck murder suspect asked contractor to build secret room

OGDEN, Utah — A local contractor from Ogden said he met with murder suspect Ayoola Ajayi a couple months prior to the murder of MacKenzie Lueck, because Ajayi wanted him to build a small, secret, soundproof room in the basement of his Fairpark home.

Brian Wolf said at first when he met Ajayi, who went by the nickname “AJ,” he thought the potential future customer was just a friendly, normal, talkative guy. Eventually, though, Wolf said he was so disturbed by Ajayi’s request to build a secret room that he turned down the job — even though Ajayi told him he would be willing to pay whatever it takes.

FOX 13 was there when Wolf sat and watched the Salt Lake City Police Department’s press conference, announcing the end of the search for Lueck. It was the first time Wolf had seen Ajayi’s face since April.

“100 percent, that man that they arrested is the man I met… guaranteed,” Wolf said. “I’m shaken right now. My heart is pounding. I’m almost about to cry. It’s scary. I feel sorry for that girl.”

Wolf said Ajayi wanted the secret room, which would have been about the size of a walk-in closet, to have a thumbprint lock and hooks hanging from the walls. Ajayi claimed the hooks were for a wine rack.

“He just said that his girlfriend was coming into town and he needed to get it done before she got there because she was a Mormon girl,” Wolf recalled. “She didn’t know he drank, so he wanted to hide the alcohol from her, and I was like, ‘Well, why do you need it to be soundproof?’”

Wolf said Ajayi’s response was not very convincing — that he might want to listen to music by himself in the secret room.

As soon as Wolf saw the house on television, he reported what he knew to the police. Now he wonders if officers would have been able to do anything if he told them sooner.

“In my gut, when I walked out of there, I felt like something weird was going on… and it turns out there obviously was,” Wolf said. “I just had a gut feeling the room he wanted built wasn’t appropriate for anything.”

Wolf said he still isn’t sure what Ajayi actually wanted the room for, but whatever it was, he refused to be a part of it.

“It wasn’t something where somebody would want to be in that room alone with him,” Wolf said. “Even my nephew, when I got out to the truck, we both looked at each other and I was like, ‘That was weird, right?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, that was hella weird. We’re not doing this job right?’ and I was like, ‘Hell no!’”

A GoFundMe set up by a close friend of MacKenzie’s to help the Lueck family with funeral costs can be found here. 

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic or intimate partner violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

Other resources available:

  • University of Utah Counseling Center: 801-581-6826
    • After-hours crisis line: 801-587-3000
  • University of Utah Center for Student Wellness: 801-581-7776
  • 24/7 Crisis Line on SafeUT App

A look into the life of MacKenzie Lueck’s accused murderer

SALT LAKE CITY — Once a person of interest, 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi is now facing charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a human body in the death of 23-year-old MacKenzie Lueck.

Prior to his arrest Friday morning, the 31-year-old legal resident who was born and raised in Nigeria had no criminal history in the state of Utah.

However, in a statement to media Friday, North Park Police said Ajayi was investigated as the suspect in a rape complaint back in 2014, but the woman did not wish to pursue charges.

The statement reads:

Aside from minor traffic violations, Ajayi was evicted from the Northridge Apartments in North Salt Lake in 2016. That complex happens to be across the street from Hatch Park — where MacKenzie went missing and where GPS evidence linked Lueck’s and Ajayi’s cellphones at the park within a minute of each other, around 3 a.m. Monday morning, just before Lueck’s phone was turned off.

Ajayi also owns a home at 547 North 1000 West in Salt Lake City, where SLCP served a search warrant on Wednesday; they pulled bags of evidence from the property.

Taking a look at Ajayi’s past, he spent some time at Utah State University.

A spokesperson with USU said he returned to the university three separate times but never earned a degree. Ajayi first attended the university in the fall of 2009. He came back in the fall of 2010 and left in the spring of 2011, before coming back a final time in 2015, leaving in the fall of 2016.

School officials were unsure if he had declared a major or not.

Ajayi also had a brief stint with the Utah National Guard beginning in 2014. He was assigned to the 214th Forward Support Company based out of Tooele. The Utah National Guard said Ajayi was discharged with an entry level separation on June 10, 2015, after sixth months of service.

Those with Utah National Guard said Ajayi did not complete basic training or advanced individual training. He did not receive certificates or awards from the National Guard, rendering him ineligible to be deployed on any tours of duty.

Ajayi also attempted to start a modeling career with Model Management. On his page, Ajayi described himself, “I am tall, buffed, Funny. I am a victim, Romantic, Violent and character actor. (sic)”

In December of 2017, he was cast as a football player in a commercial, promoting new Army football uniforms honoring soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division.

Come 2018, Ajayi self-published a book on Amazon called Forge Identity. The fictional story is based on a young boy who witnessed a gruesome murder, conflicted between pursuing a life of crime or creating a new path.

In his Amazon author biography, it says Ajayi “has survived a tyrannical dictatorship and escaped a real life crime.”

A GoFundMe set up by a close friend of MacKenzie’s to help the Lueck family with funeral costs can be found here. 

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic or intimate partner violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

Other resources available:

  • University of Utah Counseling Center: 801-581-6826
    • After-hours crisis line: 801-587-3000
  • University of Utah Center for Student Wellness: 801-581-7776
  • 24/7 Crisis Line on SafeUT App