Mackenzie Lueck

BREAKING: Police say Mackenzie Lueck was murdered as human tissue found at residence of suspect

Police confirmed the name of the suspect and said he denied seeing Lueck on the day of her presumed murder — but evidence disputes his claims

The case of missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck is now a homicide investigation.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown announced in a press conference on Friday that Ayoola Adisa Ajayi, 31, of Salt Lake City, has been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a body.

Leuck, 23, has not been seen since June 17, and police said that her cell phone ceased having any activity at about 3 a.m. that morning, shortly after she is believed to have met with the suspect at Hatch Park. Both of their cell phones were tracked to the park at the same time on that day.

Brown said that a search of Ajayi’s residence found female human tissue, and DNA testing shows that the tissue is a match for the missing young woman.

READ MORE: Person of interest in Mackenzie Lueck case wanted to build a ‘soundproof’ room in basement with hooks on walls and a secret door, contractor says

“The man charged with these horrific and tragic crimes is the person of interest” referenced at Thursday’s press conference, Brown said on Friday.

“I will not be saying the killer’s name again.”

Brown further said that Ajayi claimed he last communicated with Lueck on June 16, and denied seeing photos or her online profiles, which evidence found on his devices disputes. The police chief also said that neighbors observed the suspect burning something in his backyard.

Authorities did not say at the press conference how they believe Lueck died.

This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.