Suspect in Mackenzie Lueck case allegedly slashed estranged wife
The estranged wife of a Utah college student's alleged killer claims that she left him for good after he chased her with a knife, according to the Daily Mail.
Tenisha Jenkins Ajayi told the newspaper that Ayoola Ajayi, 31, once slashed her with a butcher's knife and threatened to kidnap her while the two were at a friend's house in Dallas. Ayoola had reportedly been trying to get Tenisha, a mother of four who was living in Texas at the time, to move to Utah with him.
"He tried to tie me up with a phone cord," she recalled. "When I went to run, he blocked the door. I ended up jumping through a window and cutting my arm on the glass."
Still, Ayoola pursued her, Tenisha said.
"He chased me into the street with a knife and and cut me on the hand," she said. "I didn't go to the police but I moved out of my apartment so he couldn’t find me."
Tenisha's interview with the Daily Mail comes just days following Ayoola's arrest in connection with the disappearance of University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck. Last Friday, the Nigerian American was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and desecration of a body after digital footprints led Salt Lake City police to his home.
Last Wednesday, law enforcement conducted a search warrant on Ayoola's home in Fairpark, where they were seen digging holes in his backyard that night. Police reportedly removed boxes of ammunition from the property and found traces of Lueck's tissue and personal items. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown added that most of the items were charred, and neighbors said they had observed Ayoola "burning something in his backyard with the use of gas on June 17 and June 18."
Lueck, a native of El Segundo, Calif., went missing on June 17 after returning from a trip back home to attend her grandmother's funeral. She purportedly texted her parents around 1 a.m. to let them know that she had landed at the Salt Lake City airport safely. She also ordered a Lyft to Hatch Park, where her Lyft driver said she entered another person's vehicle.
Over the course of several days, authorities said they received more than 200 tips related to Lueck's disappearance. Law enforcement also sifted through the college student's phone and social media records, which eventually led them to conclude that Ayoola, a self-proclaimed model who worked in tech support, was the last person that had been in touch with her. In an interview with detectives, however, Ayoola denied ever having contact with Lueck and claimed that he did not know what she looked like, despite having a photo of her in his possession.
In the hours following Ayoola's arrest, Fox News published a disturbing interview with Brian Wolf, in which the local contractor claimed that the suspect had asked him to build a soundproof room before "his girlfriend got back into town."
"He slowly added on other requests, like building a secret door and adding hooks to the wall," Wolf said.
One of Ayoola's neighbors also told the news outlet that several women had frequented his home prior to Lueck's disappearance.
"There were always so many women coming in and out at all hours of the night," said the neighbor, who didn't wish to be identified.
According to CBS News, Ayoola was previously accused of a rape in northern Utah five years ago, but the woman declined to press charges. It is unclear how he met Lueck, who was purportedly interested in having a "sugar daddy" and was seeing multiple people casually before she disappeared.
In her interview with the Daily Mail and in light of Lueck's supposed murder, Ayoola's estranged wife said she hopes he spends the rest of his life in jail if he is found guilty of killing the college student.
"If they need me to come to court and testify against him, I'll tell them how he was aggressive and controlling," Tenisha said. "This could have happened to me. This could have happened to my child."