One person is in police custody in connection with the disappearance of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck after investigators chased down new leads in the case.
During the early morning hours of June 17, the 23-year-old flew into Salt Lake City International Airport from her hometown of El Segundo, California and was last seen by a Lyft driver who dropped her off from the airport.
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 25, 2019
The mystery deepened as Lueck’s friends reported new activity on the student’s Instagram account earlier this week.
Police also searched a home in Salt Lake City listed as an active Airbnb, and believe Lueck or someone connected to her disappearance may have ended up at that residence, reports KSL.
Multiple items of new evidence have led authorities to a “person of interest” in the student’s disappearance. On Friday, one man was taken into custody.
According to Time, the suspect has been identified as Ayoola A. Ajayi. He was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, and desecration of a body. Authorities found evidence of Lueck’s burned remains at his home.
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 23, 2019
It wasn’t immediately clear if the man taken into custody is the same person linked to the home where police searched for evidence connected to the case.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters of the call they had to make to Lueck’s family:
“This is one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made. We are devastated and heartbroken by this news.”
As Time reports, it remains unclear how Ajayi and Lueck knew each other, but that he allegedly met up with Lueck at a park after she was picked up from the airport.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that authorities said they’re looking for items missing from the house.
The mattress, as well as a box spring that was given away from the home last week, may provide evidence in relation to the Lueck’s disappearance.
The homeowner of 547 N. 1000 W. in Salt Lake City was reportedly seen recently burning several items in his backyard.
We are looking to find this mattress as well as a box spring in relation to this case. These items were possibly given away from 547 N. 1000 W. If you picked up these items please contact us at 801-799-3000 #MackenzieLueck #missingperson pic.twitter.com/Lqqby7iAxJ
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 27, 2019
Police spent Wednesday evening collecting evidence from the residence, on the same day, Lueck’s friends noticed that her personal Instagram handle followed an account called “Fatherless: ‘I got daddy issues'” and reported the incident to police.
According to KSL, authorities are scouring texts and social media looking for new clues in the case. Lueck’s digital footprint has become critical in the search for evidence.
Police have also turned their attention to dating apps Lueck was allegedly on, “including at least one that connects ‘sugar babies’ with ‘sugar daddies.’
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