New details are emerging about the suspect arrested in connection with the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi is accused of murdering the University of Utah student and burning her remains — along with various items belonging to her — in a fire on his property in Salt Lake City.
Authorities say they searched his home earlier this week and found evidence including human tissue, ammunition and burned remnants of Lueck’s possessions. While initial reports did not indicate how the suspect and victim might have known each other, investigators noted that the final messages on the victim’s phone were texts to and from Ajayi.
Several pictures of the missing woman were allegedly found on his phone.
Lueck was last seen on June 17, reportedly after hailing a ride from Lyft early that morning to take her from Salt Lake City International Airport to her residence. She had just returned from her grandmother’s funeral in Los Angeles.
Her friends reported that her Instagram account exhibited suspicious behavior after her disappearance.
Reports cited by the U.K. Daily Mail identify the suspect as an ex-IT specialist in the U.S. Army. He’d also flirted with fiction, publishing a 2018 book in which two characters are burned to death.
“Forge Identity” is “inspired from true events,” according to its cover, and tells of a 15-year-old Nigerian boy who witnesses the two gruesome murders. Ajayi was born in Nigeria.
The book had been available for sale on Amazon, but the online retailer has since removed the product in response to news reports and customer requests.
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