Suspect in Utah student Mackenzie Lueck's murder was abusive, slashed estranged with butcher's knife: Report
Ayoola Ajayi, the prime murder suspect in the Mackenzie Lueck case, allegedly abused his estranged wife when they lived together. He once reportedly slashed her with a butcher's knife and threatened to kidnap her.
Ajayi is accused of abducting and killing the 23-year-old University of Utah student before burning her body and burying it in a backyard in North Salt Lake, Daily Mail reports.
While he's still legally married to Tenisha Jenkins Ajayi, the pair haven't seen each other since she fled from their turbulent marriage years ago and went into hiding. She then reportedly changed her phone numbers in order to break all contact with him.
"If he took an innocent child he needs to spend his life in jail," she told Daily Mail. "If they need me to come to court and testify against him, I'll tell them how he was aggressive and controlling. This could have happened to me. This could have happened to my child."
The 35-year-old mother-of-four said she married the Nigerian IT worker out of love and not for any kind immigration or financial arrangement.
According to her, they first met in 2011 when a family friend introduced them to one another. By June the same year, they were married.
"My Godmother said to me I’ve got someone for you," Tenisha recounted. "I asked her, 'Is he crazy, is he a killer?' But she said he was a good person. For our first date, we went to her house. He was cool, he was a loving person, not crazy. My kids liked him. He used to buy them clothes, do stuff for them. He paid for my apartment, my childcare, everything. The wedding was in downtown Dallas. Nobody came but we didn’t invite nobody. I and mom were into it at the time. He didn't invite any of his family either. His mama doesn’t speak English."
She added that she was already pregnant with the youngest of her two sons when she tied the knot with Ajayi—nicknamed AJ—but that the doomed union was already falling apart by the time their child Jojo, 7, was born.
"AJ told me he was going back to his hometown in Utah and I didn't want to go with him. That made him angry but I have kids, I couldn't just leave Dallas," she said.
"He was telling me not to talk to anybody. He used to check up on me. He started to get more and more aggressive. Eventually, he said he would kill me if I didn’t go to Utah."
According to Tenisha, she last saw Ajayi at a friend's house in Dallas where, she recalled, he reiterated his threat and tried to grab her.
"He tried to tie me up with a phone cord. When I went running he blocked the door. I ended up jumping through a window and cutting my arm on the glass," she told the outlet.
"He chased me into the street with a knife and cut me in the hand. I didn't go to the police but I moved out of my apartment so he couldn’t find me. I kept telling him I don’t want to be with you, I want a divorce. He wouldn’t sign the papers. His friend from the Army kept calling me, saying they were going to kidnap me. I was really frightened. He kept saying he was going to kill me."
Speaking of the intimacy in their relationship, Tenisha said she was too "scared" to have sex with Ajayi.
However, she never saw any evidence he had violent sexual fantasies.
Nonetheless, the pair never even consummated the marriage.
"I never had sex with him because I was kinda scared of him. Not once. When he drank, he became aggressive," she revealed. "And I was pregnant with another man's child."
The suspect was taken into custody last Friday morning before investigators charged him with the murder of Lueck, who disappeared June 17 after hiring a Lyft from the airport to a park located miles away from her Salt Lake apartment.
According to reports, she got into another vehicle after being dropped at the destination by the Lyft driver.
Ajayi's LinkedIn profile shows he was employed by the Army as an Information Technology Specialist for almost two years before he left service in June 2016.