Here’s what we know about the person accused of killing Mackenzie Lueck

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 18:22:12-04

Ayoola Ajayi, whose home is five miles from where University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck was last seen, is in custody and is likely to be charged in her death and kidnapping, police say.

Here’s what we know about the suspect.

Police found pictures of Lueck on his phone

Police initially identified Ajayi as a person of interest Thursday after serving a search warrant at his home in the Fairpark neighborhood.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said at that time that Ajayi had spoken with investigators but was not in police custody.

Ajayi’s house is five miles from the park where Lueck was last seen by a Lyft driver who gave her a ride from the airport in the early morning hours of June 17.

Police said the investigation showed Ajayi and Lueck’s phones were both at the park within a minute of each other.

Ajayi denied knowing what Lueck looked like, Brown said, but investigators found several pictures of her on his phone.

A neighbor told CNN that Ajayi said he was using part of the home as an Airbnb. Police have not indicated there’s any connection to the alleged crime.

A spokesman for Airbnb said Saturday the company investigated and confirmed the neighbor’s account.

He allegedly burned Lueck’s personal items

Neighbors told police Ajayi used gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, Brown said Friday.

Police searched the burn area and said they found “several charred items” that were consistent with Lueck’s personal items, Brown said.

They also found charred material determined to be female human tissue, he said, which matched Lueck’s DNA profile.

He worked for the US Army, Dell and Goldman Sachs

According to his LinkedIn page, Ajayi is a former information technology specialist for the US Army and recently worked for Dell and Goldman Sachs.

CNN has reached out to the US Army and Dell for comment.

His neighbor, Tom Camomile, told CNN prior to his arrest that Ajayi was a “smart guy” and a “computer geek.”

“It’s a little unnerving and unsettling” that Ajayi was connected to the case, Camomile said at that time.

“I think he’s a man of high integrity,” he said, “but you don’t know anyone.”

“Surprises pop up all the time.”