The body of slain Utah student Mackenzie Lueck was discovered in a canyon about 85 miles from the Salt Lake City home where a suspect was arrested last week, police said Friday.
Remains recovered from Logan Canyon on Wednesday were positively identified as the 23-year-old Lueck, who went missing two weeks ago after she got out of a Lyft ride.
“I spoke with Mackenzie’s family this morning. Another devastating call,” Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said. “Despite their grief, we hope this will help them find some closure and justice for Mackenzie.”
Authorities previously said some of her charred remains and belongings were found in the backyard of 31-year-old Ayoola A. Ajayi, who faces aggravated murder charges in her death.
The University of Utah student disappeared June 17 after she took a Lyft ride from the airport to Hatch Park, where she met someone.
The ride-share driver, who was cleared as a suspect, told police that Lueck didn’t appear in distress and climbed into another vehicle after she was dropped off.
Ajayi’s cell-phone records link him to the park at the same time Lueck disappeared, authorities said. The suspect was also the last known person to communicate with her.
Police said he took classes sporadically at Utah State University, which is near the canyon where Lueck’s remains were uncovered.
It’s unclear how the pair knew each other. Authorities haven’t released Lueck’s cause of death or a motive behind the grisly crime.
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