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Social Media and Cell Phones Played Crucial Role In Arrest


Nearly two weeks after her disappearance, social media and cell phones played crucial role in arrest of Utah student’s killer. Mackenzie Lueck, a 23-year-old student from the University of Utah was tragically killed by an unknown murderer. Thanks to investigators being able to track her cell phone, they discovered that the suspect was also in the park where she was last seen on June 17. In fact, they were only one minute away from one another.

Furthermore, they were able to unveil the fact that Lueck’s phone stopped receiving date or location services just around that time. The suspect of the murder is 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi. He was arrested on Friday and will most likely be charged with aggravated murder. Based on the information revealed by Mike Brown, Salt Lake City Police Chief, he will also probably face other charges such as kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body.

Phones Played Crucial Role in Arrest
Image: fox43.com

How did the police manage to find Ayoola? The proximity based on cell phone localizations of the two at the time of Lueck’s disappearance, but also pictures found on his phone. While Ayoola denied knowing what the victim even looked like, the proof of the pictures found in his phone was marked as ”digital footprint”. Mackenzie’s sorority sister also confirmed that a new Instagram account was created by another user which apparently belonged to the missing student at the time. Police are still in the process of further investigating it and possibly connecting more dots in relation with Ayoola.

Due to what is called ”forensic evidence” the investigation could be successful. Forensic evidence is defined as ”covering computers, cell phones, IP addresses, URLs, texting apps” as explained by Chief Brown. Beyond forensic evidence, the police also searched for Ayoola’s home and property. Neighbors mentioned they noticed strange behavior on June 17 and 18 when they saw Ayoola using gasoline to burn something unknown in his backyard. But what pushed Ayoola to commit such crime? Was it a crime of passion? A stalker? What was his actual relationship with Mackenzie in the first place before the act?

Police explained that: ” 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”. Sadly, an expected, police also found female human consistent with Lueck’s DNA profile. Lueck last texted her parents at 1 a.m. on June 17th when she arrived at the airport of Salt Lake City. In fact, airport surveillance shows her walking through the baggage claim area. She did not appear in distress as explained by the Lyft driver that picked her up.

Phones Played Crucial Role In Arrest
Image: 96.5 WDBO

Phone records show that her last communication was with the suspect at 3 a.m. Following that day, her family did not hear from her for two weeks. A period that was torture for them. They explain that Mackenzie was ”extremely dedicated”. ”She would never miss her midterms or anything like that. She hasn’t been home. She didn’t show up to work, or anything”. After the suspect was arrested on Friday, Chief Brown called her parents to inform them of the terrible news. All her family was ”devastated and heartbroken by this news”.

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