The man accused of murdering University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck appeared in court on Monday morning as police were tipped off to additional evidence in the presumed murder of the the 23-year-old California native.
The Deseret News reports that police received a tip about additional evidence found along the Jordan River Parkway in Salt Lake City just as Ayoola Adisa Ajayi, 31, appeared for his first hearing related to the murder charges.
Ajayi is facing charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a human body. A KUTV-TV reporter confirmed on Twitter that the suspect has yet to enter a plea to any of the charges.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities found Lueck’s body in Logan Canyon, which is about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City, on July 3. The week before, detectives had discovered human tissue in Ajayi’s yard that was a DNA match for Lueck, along with charred personal items believed to belong to the victim.
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Schearer confirmed to the Deseret News on Monday that authorities had recovered additional evidence but did not specify what it was.
Charging documents obtained by the news outlet show that Lueck died of internal bleeding as a result of blunt force trauma. Many questions remain in the investigation, including a motive for her murder, and under what pretense the student agreed to meet Ajayi in a park in Salt Lake City in the early morning hours of June 20.
Friends of the victim reportedly spoke to reporters outside the courtroom Monday.
“Why Mackenzie?,” Ashley Fine said, according to the Deseret News. “I think that’s a big question for us.”