MacKenzie Lueck case: What’s next in the legal process?

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office are sifting through evidence to bring formal charges against Ayoola Ajayi.

Ajayi was arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and other crimes in relation to the disappearance and death of MacKenzie Lueck.

Prosecutors have 72 hours to formally charge him.

“Our homicide team will get together the early part of next week.  We will review the materials as part of the investigation,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.  “Everybody is fully committed.  This issue has not come to an end, this is just the beginning of this process.”

Gill says the legal process will take time.

“My recommendation to the community is be patient, trust what law enforcement has done,” Gill said.  "We owe it not only to the victim's family, to their friends, to the community that if there is a criminal conduct like this, that there is an accountability."

It is still too early to discuss any potential punishment Ajayi could face.

“The state of Utah has the death penalty, but it would be absolutely inappropriate to speculate on that,” Gill said.  “We still have not made the final, formal filing charges decision.”

Gill estimates charges could be filed by Tuesday.

A GoFundMe set up by a close friend of MacKenzie's to help the Lueck family with funeral costs can be found here. 

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic or intimate partner violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

Other resources available:

  • University of Utah Counseling Center: 801-581-6826
    • After-hours crisis line: 801-587-3000
  • University of Utah Center for Student Wellness: 801-581-7776
  • 24/7 Crisis Line on SafeUT App
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