UPDATED: 5:38 p.m. EDT — Police in Utah have released the mugshot of the man suspected of killing a college student who went missing in Salt Lake Cty nearly two weeks ago. Ayoola Ajayi was arrested on Friday and charged with the murder of MacKenzie Lueck after officials were able to determine that the “charred remains” found in the suspect’s back yard belonged to the 23-year-old college student.
There was an emerging xenophobic narrative on social media after it was reported that Ajayi was an immigrant from Africa.
It was still unclear how their paths came to cross on the night of June 17, when Lueck went missing from a park. The two may have met via a dating app.
“The college senior’s social media accounts reveal that she considered herself a sugar baby, and boasted about having at least two unidentified sugar daddies which she found through online sites Seeking Arrangement and Tinder,” the Daily Mail reported earlier this week.
“DailyMail.com obtained screenshots of Lueck’s posts made nearly three months ago in a private Facebook group where Lueck gave advice on how she finds sugar daddies – wealthy older men who lavish younger women with gifts and money in return for company or sexual favors,” the news outlet reported.
“Try tinder and be blunt about it,” one comment attributed to Lueck says. “Mine says ‘I want a SD/SB relationship with a real connection,'” she wrote. “If [they] don’t know what a SD/SB is, tell them bluntly sugar daddy and sugar baby. But if they don’t know, they aren’t really worth your time,” her comment said.
She continued: “Set your age preferences from 35+. You’ll have the most luck there. Private message me, if you have more questions! I have experience.”
Police in Utah arrested a person on Friday in connection to a local college student who went missing nearly two weeks ago, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Ayoola Ajayi was taken into custody as a person of interest before he was placed under arrest under suspicion that he killed MacKenzie Lueck, who was first reported missing June 17.
Photos online showed that the suspect is a Black man. Lueck, 23, is a white woman.
“Ajayi, 31, was being booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a body and obstruction of justice after a SWAT team took him into custody Friday morning at a West Temple apartment complex,” the local news outlet reported.
Police said during a briefing on Friday that was the last time the suspect would be referred to by name.
According to the Daily Mail, Ajayi is a “former Army IT specialist who owns a home five miles from a park” where Lueck went missing from.
Lueck had returned from California to Salt Lake City on June 17 when she requested a car from her Lyft ridesharing app to take her “to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, nearly 9 miles from her home near Trolley Square, where she met a person at about 3 a.m. and left,” Salt Lake Cty Tribune reported. Her parent reported her missing on the 20th.
Police said phone records linked Ajayi to Lueck and that signals indicated their cellphones were in close proximity to each other when she went missing.
Ajayi told police in an interview before Friday that he “texted Lueck on June 16 at about 6 p.m. but had no further contact with her,” the Tribune reported. “He said he didn’t know what Lueck looked like and said he hadn’t seen her photos or online profile.” However, police said Ajayi had multiple photos of Lueck.
Neighbors told police Ajayi was in his backyard burning items on June 16 and 17. Inside Edition reported that Lueck’s “charred remains” were found in Ajayi’s backyard.
An arrest report showed that there was no bond being offered for Ajayi.
According to journalist Chris Jones, Ajayi penned a novel called “Forge Identity” that features “a fictional character who watches 2 people being burned by angry mobs.”
Heavy.com noted that the liner notes for the book included a bio that says: “Ayoola Ajayi was born and raised in Africa. He has been a salesman, an entrepreneur, and a writer. He has survived a tyrannical dictatorship, escaped a real life crime, traveled internationally, excelled professionally in several industries, and is currently curating a multi-platform advertising campaign for his debut novel, Forge Identity, a sample of which can be found on Kindle, Amazon, Facebook, and any current social media. He lives in salt lake.”
This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.