Police: Missing Utah student is dead. The accused killer tried to build torture room.


Just under two weeks ago, University of Utah student Mackenzie Luek went missing.

And on Friday, police charged a man with aggravated murder in her killing.

As details have emerged, they have painted a dark and disturbing reality about the man accused of this heinous act.

The suspect, 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, was taken into custody Friday morning after investigators uncovered a fresh dig area, charred female human tissue and items belonging to the missing student in the backyard of his Salt Lake Cityhome, police said. Neighbors informed detectives they noticed Ajayi burning something with the help of gasoline around June 17, which was the last time that Luek was seen.

“After an exhaustive week of investigation, we are filing charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body in the homicide of Mackenzie Lueck,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters. “I will not be saying the killer’s name again,” he added, noting that the crimes were “tragic and horrific”.

Lueck, 23, disappeared after meeting an unknown individual around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after being dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police.

Brown said Ajayi was the last person Lueck was communicating with before her disappearance and that phone records indicated they were both in the area around 3 a.m.

According to Chief Brown, Lueck’s parents were devastated and heartbroken when they were informed about her death.

“Salt Lake City is a tight-knit, caring, family-oriented community and I hope we can all work together to prevent this from ever happening again,” he said.

Police are now looking into whether Ajayi acted alone or had help. Police originally searched Ajayi’s home and was then named a person of interest. During their search, they dug up holes in the home’s backyard and removed items from the property for further forensic investigation.

The following excerpts from a Fox News exclusive depicts a depraved mind with some dark thoughts.

A Utah handyman said that Ajayi recently asked him to build a secret, soundproof room in his basement, complete with strange hooks on the walls. On April 4, Brian Wolf says he met with the man about some flood-damage repairs to his home. Wolf decided the drywall repairs were unnecessary. And that’s when the conversation took a turn.

According to Wolf, Ajayi started asking about “building this weird room” in a small space in the basement and making requests that set off alarms.

“He didn’t creep me out until he started asking for the requests that he wanted in that room,” Wolf said.

Initially, Ajayi proposed “a secret door” in a space that was roughly four feet wide and seven to nine feet long. But then he “slowly started sidestepping into more stuff, like wanting a thumb lock on it with a fingerprint lock, and soundproofing it, and putting hooks in the concrete – it was just weird what he was asking me,” Wolf said.

“I kinda joked around about it. Like, ‘What do you need hooks that high for?’ He was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to hang these wine racks up there.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I can hang your wine racks for you and not have these big gaudy hooks that you want up here.’ And then I was asking him why he wanted it soundproofed, he said if he wanted to sit down there and listen to his music real loud.”

“And I was thinking like, ‘Why would you sit in a tiny little — like almost a little bigger than a walk-in closet — room and listen to your music real loud and drink your wine or whiskey or whatever?’

“I got a bad gut feeling. And even my nephew, when we got out to the truck, we both looked at each other, ‘That was weird, right?’ And he was like: ‘Yeah, that was hella weird. We’re not doing this job, right? “And I was like, ‘Hell no,’” Wolf said.

Ajayi was “adamant about telling me that money wasn’t an object,” Wolf recalled, saying the man emphasized that “he just needed to get it done now.”

“He told me the reason he wanted it done so fast was his girlfriend was coming out. He didn’t tell me her name, what she looked like, anything like that — he just said that his girlfriend was coming into town and needed to get it done before she got there because she was a Mormon girl. He did say she was a white girl” and “she didn’t know he drank so he wanted to hide his alcohol from her.” (Lueck’s family is Mormon.)

Wolf said he finally turned down the project, telling Ajayi that his residence was too far away and that he wouldn’t be able to tackle the job quickly enough. In truth, Wolf said, the proposed project from the friendly and talkative Ajayi made him very uncomfortable.

Ajayi also appears to have published an e-book last year titled “Forge Identity”, about a teenager who has witnessed violent murders and then has to decide whether “he will join the ranks of a criminal mastermind, or fight to escape the tyranny that has surrounded his young life.”

If you read his author bio on Amazon, it says Ajayi was born and raised in Africa, “survived a tyrannical dictatorship, escaped a real-life crime, traveled internationally” and “excelled professionally in several industries.”

He also had an Airbnb profile that has since been taken off the website.  In it, he advertised “beautiful and affordable basement rooms in the heart of [Salt Lake City] with shared common area” for $27 and $30 a night, at the house police searched this week.

Let it be known, any person who murders another human being has a depraved mind. But these details go beyond depravity.

A soundproof room. Hooks hanging high. A secret door. Evidence buried in the backyard. A book about a teen witnessing violent murders.

This guy was a nightmare waiting to happen. Maybe there were red flags, maybe there weren’t. Maybe this could have been prevented.

But one thing is for certain: another young person doesn’t get to live the rest of her life and her family is living that nightmare. 

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