Suspect Charged in Murder of MacKenzie Lueck

Ayoola Ajayi charged with aggravated murder, 3 other counts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2019 2:36 PM CDT
Suspect Charged in Murder of Utah Student
This undated photo taken from the Facebook page #FindMackenzieLueck shows a Mackenzie Lueck, 23, a senior at the University of Utah.   (#FindMackenzieLueck via AP)

Police found MacKenzie Lueck's remains last week, and on Wednesday Ayoola Ajayi was formally charged with aggravated murder in the killing of the University of Utah 23-year-old. Ajayi, 31, was also charged with aggravated kidnapping, second-degree felony obstruction of justice, and third-degree felony desecration of a body, the Salt Lake Tribune reports; the aggravated murder charge carries the possibility of the death penalty. Ajayi had been booked into jail last month on suspicion of those charges.

Authorities also announced Wednesday that Lueck's charred body was found in a shallow grave in a wooded area of Logan Canyon, ABC News reports. Her arms had been bound behind her back by a zip tie and rope and her skull had a hole in it with part of her scalp missing; she died of blunt force trauma to her head. Authorities previously found a human bone and part of a scalp with hair in a freshly dug site near Ajayi's garage. (Ajayi was once accused of rape, has written a disturbing novel, and looked into adding a soundproof room to his home.)

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