The man accused of murdering a 23-year-old University of Utah student was charged Tuesday with 19 unrelated counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after police examined his computer and found pornographic images of children.
Police seized 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi’s computer June 26 during an investigation into the death of MacKenzie Lueck. On July 2, a forensic lab began analyzing its contents and found multiple images of children engaged in sex acts, according to charging documents, filed Tuesday in 3rd District Court.
The charges describe 19 photos in graphic detail and five times mentions children posing on a “floral mattress."
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said as of now the charges encompass only someone possessing child pornography, but that his team is still investigating and will use federal resources to determine when the images were made, who made them and to possibly identify the children.
“I just want to commend the hard work of both our investigative partners and our attorneys who will continue to work this case very thoroughly,” Gill said. “This continues to be an ongoing investigation.”
Ajayi was previously charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and abuse or desecration of a human body in connection with Lueck’s slaying.
Lueck disappeared early June 17, when she returned to Salt Lake City after flying to California for her grandmother’s funeral. She took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, where police believe she met up with Ajayi, who once lived in an apartment complex near the park, around 3 a.m.
Lueck’s phone was powered off at the park after she texted Ajayi. His phone, which investigators tracked to the park at that time, was turned off when he arrived at his home in Salt Lake City.
The next morning, Ajayi bought a gas can around 9 a.m., and a neighbor reported a “horrible smell” coming from a fire in his backyard. Police searched the fire pit and found items belonging to Lueck, in addition to burned human remains.
Lueck’s body — charred and with her arms bound behind her back with a zip tie and rope — was found by police in Logan Canyon on July 3 beneath some trees just off the main road. An autopsy indicated she died of blunt force trauma to her head.