Mourners remember slain Utah college student at vigil

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown speaks at a news conference on Friday, June 28, 2019 in Salt Lake City. Brown said Ayoola A. Ajayi was being charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck. He was arrested without incident earlier Friday morning by a SWAT team. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah police say remains of slain college student have been recovered.

In a press conference Friday morning in Salt Lake City, police chief Mike Brown reported that officials had recovered the remains of Mackenzie Lueck's body in Logan Canyon on Wednesday, July 3.

"Despite (the family's) grief, we hope this will help them find some closure and justice for Mackenzie," Brown said.

"Over the last two weeks (officials) they have dropped their personal lives and worked thousands of hours to get us to this point," Brown continued.

According to district attorney Sim Gill, the case continues to be an open investigation. He reminded the public that despite an arrest has been made and a suspect is in jail, there is a presumption of innocence including this person until it is carried through the justice system.

Ayoola Adisa Ajayi, 31, is being held without bail on suspicion of aggravated murder, kidnapping and other charges in Lueck's death. During a previous search of his home, police  found “several charred items” that appeared to be personal items of Lueck’s. Other tests were performed on charred material found at the home, which appeared to be “female human tissue,” according to charging documents.

Lueck was last seen on June 17 after she returned to Salt Lake City from a funeral in California and took a Lyft from the airport to a park in North Salt Lake. She was reported missing on June 20. Lueck was attending the University of Utah and had been a student since 2014.

"As a parent myself, this is a circumstance beyond belief. It's a scenario you can't even imagine happening your life," Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biskupski said. "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."

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