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Scott G Winterton, KSL file

What we know about Ayoola Ajayi, the man arrested in connection with Mackenzie Lueck's homicide

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Jun 28th, 2019 @ 4:03pm | Posted - Jun 28th, 2019 @ 11:53am



SALT LAKE CITY — A homeowner who police previously named as a "person of interest" in the case of missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has been arrested, police confirmed Friday.

Ayoola Ajayi, 31, was arrested Friday morning near 1000 S. West Temple in connection with Lueck's death, according to Salt Lake police.

He is expected to be charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and desecration of a body, according to Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

Ajayi was investigated for a sex offense/rape complaint by North Park Police Department in 2014 according to a statement released by the department Friday. Charges were never filed in the case and the adult woman involved in the incident did not want to pursue charges, the statement read.

According to Salt Lake County property records, Ajayi owns the home at 547 N. 1000 West where police served a search warrant Wednesday evening.

He joined Airbnb as a user in 2016, according to the site. He listed his home there in two separate pages, offering accommodations in the basement of the home, according to the site.

According to Utah State University spokesman Tim Vitale, Ajayi attended the university off and on between 2009-2016, but never graduated and never had a declared major.

Utah State University also confirmed Ajayi was originally from Nigeria, Africa and attended the school on a student visa.

It was initially believed Ajayi had a green card but upon further review KSL was unable to confirm his green card status with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

The DA’s office did say Ajayi was a legal and lawful citizen at the time of his arrest.

Ajayi’s LinkedIn indicates that he has work experience in tech support and IT for companies in Utah including Dell, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft.

The page also lists that he was an IT specialist for the U.S. Army from 2014 to 2016.

Ajayi also appears to have explored a career in modeling, according to a page on ModelManagement.com.

He also self-published a book on Amazon called "Forge Identity." In the book, a teenage boy witnesses a gruesome murder and must choose whether to live a life of crime or make an escape, according to the plot summary.

A plot summary on Facebook for the book notes that the protagonist of the novel witnesses an angry mob burn his neighbor alive.

Ajayi was discharged from the Utah Army National Guard in June 2015 after six months of service, according to Utah National Guard Public Affairs Officer D.J. Gibb.

Ajayi was a member of the 214th Forward Support Company in Tooele, according to Gibb. He did not go through basic training and did not receive any certificates or awards, Gibb said. Therefore, Ajayi was not eligible to deploy with the Army National Guard, he said.

Ajayi did not meet “medical procurement standards” and was discharged as a result, Gibb said.

Ajayi was ordered to pay $1,097 to Ridgeview Property Management in a Davis County eviction case in 2017, according to court records.

Ajayi, along with two other men, were served a three-day notice to pay or vacate the premises in March 2016, with which they did not comply, court documents show.

Aside from several traffic violations, Ajayi has no previous criminal history in Utah.

Contributing: Lauren Bennett, KSL.com; Brittany Glas, KSL TV

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated Ajayi had a green card. Upon review, KSL was unable to confirm his green card status with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

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