Contractor says suspect in student’s killing wanted secret room

Police officers stand in front of the home, right, of Ayoola A. Ajayi Friday, June 28, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Authorities are filing murder and kidnapping charges in the death of a Utah college student who disappeared 11 days ago. | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A construction contractor says he was approached by Ayoola A. Ajayi, the man suspected of killing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck, and that Ajayi inquired about building a secretive and soundproof room under his home’s front porch.Brian Wolf told the Deseret News that Ajayi’s construction request included hooks mounted on a concrete wall. Wolf said the inquiry didn’t make sense and made him uneasy. He turned the job down and reported the encounter to Salt Lake City police after seeing news reports Friday of Ajayi’s arrested in Lueck’s death.

Salt Lake City Police spokeswoman Christina Judd confirmed Saturday that Wolf recounted the story to detectives.”We don’t have any reason to discount his story,” she said. “We actually really appreciate it.”A SWAT Team arrested Ajayi on Friday. Police said he will be charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Lueck.

At Ajayi’s property, police found a “fresh dig area,” burned human remains that matched Lueck’s DNA profile and charred items that belonged to her.

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 is being charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck. | Photo by Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via The Associated Press, St. George News

A judge ordered Ajayi held without bail. It was not known if he has secured an attorney to speak on his behalf. Ajayi had not returned previous messages from The Associated Press prior to his arrest.

Wolf said that Ajayi wanted the requested soundproof, secret and secure room to be equipped with a fingerprint lock.

According to the contractor, Ajayi explained that he wanted to listen to loud music and hide alcohol from a Mormon girlfriend.

Lueck disappeared on June 17, after she returned from a trip home for her grandmother’s funeral and took a Lyft ride from the airport to a park north of Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has said that Ajayi acknowledged texting with Lueck around 6 p.m. on June 16, but denied talking to her later, knowing what she looked like or having seen any online profile for her — despite having several photos of her, including a profile picture.

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