There’s a Devil Loose: Former Utah National Guard IT Specialist Ayoola Ajayi Charged With Murder in Death of 23-Year-Old Student MacKenzie Lueck

Mackenzie Lueck / Ayoola Ajayi
Mackenzie Lueck / Ayoola Ajayi

A suspect is in custody in the disappearance and death of 23-year-old MacKenzie Lueck, who was last seen on June 17. Ayoola Ajayi, 31, has been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body.

Salt Lake City police made the announcement on Friday afternoon. Ajayi was the man previously identified only as a person of interest in this case. Police Chief Mike Brown emphasized that he would utter the suspect’s name only once during the press conference.

“I will not be saying the killer’s name again,” he said.

KUTV reported that Ajayi’s LinkedIn identified him as a Utah State University grad, an IT specialist in the U.S. Army from 2014-2016, and a senior technical support analyst at Dell.

Sakari Moore told the told the Salt Lake Tribune he met Ajayi in South Carolina during basic training in the Army, and even roomed with him for a time in the Utah residence. He said “A.J.” was a “bright guy,” but also a guy who was concerned about appearances and prone to losing his temper.

“He’s definitely a guy that likes to maintain an appearance,” Moore  “A.J. was a very bright guy, he knew his material. This is why it comes as a bit of a shock. To maintain his rapport of being well-read, with computers, with clients, and then to just flip a switch — I can’t really imagine it.”

Moore said Ajayi displayed “some anger issues” when he roomed with him, adding that this “polarity” in Ajayi’s emotions made him nervous.

“He doesn’t like to be told anything other than his way,” Moore said. “He snaps or loses his temper, [then] he comes back to his sweet self.”

“I was nervous because the polarity in his emotions [was] just switching very quickly,” Moore continued, explaining why he moved out.

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SOURCE: Matt Naham
Law & Crime