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Police find body of missing Salt Lake City student

By
Danielle Haynes

July 5 (UPI) -- Police have discovered the body of missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck more than two weeks after her disappearance, Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said Friday.

He said officials recovered her body Wednesday from Logan Canyon, about 75 miles north of where she was last seen in North Salt Lake on June 17. He made the announcement during a news conference.

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"In the wake of this tragic, tragic incident I am relieved and grief-stricken to report that we have recovered Mackenzie Lueck in Logan Canyon," Brown said.

"I spoke with Mackenzie's family this morning -- another devastating call. Despite their grief, we hope this will help them find some closure and justice for Mackenzie."

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Last week, police said they found tissue matching Lueck's DNA in the back yard of a Salt Lake City home, as well as burnt items that possibly belonged to her. Brown didn't say what led police to search Logan Canyon.

The 23-year-old student was last seen June 17 when she arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport from California around 2 a.m. She took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, where she met a man and got into his vehicle.

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Last week, authorities said cellphone records and other digital evidence led them to Ayoola Ajayi, 31. Police established through phone records that Ajayi was the last person Lueck communicated with before her disappearance. Officials did not reveal the nature of Lueck and Ajayi's relationship.

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Police arrested Ajayi on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body, Brown announced June 28.

Brown offered no details on Lueck's cause of death or the condition of her body.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski offered her condolences to Lueck's family during the Friday news conference.

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"As a parent myself, this is a circumstance beyond belief. It's a scenario you can't even imagine happening in your life. I hope the information today brings additional closure to Mackenzie's family and friends, and I continue to offer my support as you grieve and seek justice," she said.

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