The man suspected of killing missing Utah college student Mackenzie Lueck will continue to be held in jail without bail for another week after prosecutors on Tuesday received an extension to file charges.
A motion granted by Utah’s Third District Court gives the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office until next week to charge Ayoola Ajayi in Lueck’s death, the district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Unless a court rules for an extension, a suspect may only be held in custody for 72 hours before charges are filed or they must be released.
Ajayi, 31, was arrested Friday and booked into the Salt Lake County jail. He is expected to be charged with Lueck’s murder and several other counts, including aggravated kidnapping, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said.
Female tissue found in his home
Lueck has been missing since the morning of June 17. The University of Utah student texted her parents at around 1 a.m. after landing at Salt Lake International Airport, police said. Airport surveillance footage showed her rolling her luggage through the airport in the early morning hours.
She then took a Lyft to Hatch Park, where she was last seen.
Investigators tracking Ajayi’s phone say he and Lueck were both in the park within a minute of each other.
Then her phone stopped receiving data or location services, police said.
Investigators searched Ajayi’s home and property last week, police said. As they did, his neighbors told police they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, Brown said.
Police said the search yielded multiple items of evidence.
“A forensic excavation of the burn area was conducted, which resulted in the finding of several charred items that were consistent with personal items of Mackenzie Lueck,” Brown told reporters.
Police also discovered charred material that was determined to be female human tissue consistent with Lueck’s DNA profile, he said.
A man who wanted a soundproof room
Ajayi lived about five miles from the park where Lueck was last seen.
According to his LinkedIn page, he is a former information technology specialist for the US Army and recently worked for Dell and Goldman Sachs. CNN has reached out to the US Army and Dell for comment.
His neighbor, Tom Camomile, told CNN prior to his arrest that Ajayi was a “computer geek.”
“I think he’s a man of high integrity,” he said, “but you don’t know anyone.”
In 2014, Ajayi was investigated for a “Sex Offense/Rape Complaint,” according to North Park Police Department Chief Jeff Simmons. The woman involved did not want to pursue charges against him.
Brian Wolf, a contractor, told CNN that Ajayi asked him to build a soundproof room in his home with a secret, thumb print protected door.
Ajayi told him the soundproofing was for listening to loud music. He also wanted hooks up high so he could put in a wine rack, Wolf said.
“People ask me to build all kind of stuff all the time but nothing like this. This was just way too weird,” Wolf, who declined the job, said.
‘A ball of light’
Lueck was a part-time senior studying kinesiology and pre-nursing at the University of Utah. She was set to graduate in 2020, according to CNN affiliate KSL. Her sorority sisters said she was outgoing and kind.
“(She) was the kind of person who would … have a good time no matter what she was doing and have everyone involved, enjoying themselves,” Lueck’s sorority “big” sister Carly Reilly told KSL.
Michelle Galison, also a member of the University of Utah’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority told the station that Lueck was unforgettable.
“I will remember her as a ball of light. That’s what she was. A blond bubble of happiness,” Galison told KSL.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Hollie Silverman, Dakin Andone and Scott McLean contributed to this report.