Why The Wife Of Mackenzie Lueck's Killer Went Into Hiding After AJ Ajayi Stabbed Her

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Who Is Tenisha Jenkins Ajayi? New Details On Mackenzie Lueck's Killer's Wife Who Went Into Hiding After AJ Ajayi Stabbed Her

For nearly two weeks, friends and family of missing Salt Lake City woman Mackenzie Lueck held out hope that she would return home. But this week police gave them the worst news possible: Mackenzie was dead and a man none of them knew was being arrested for her murder. Ayoola “AJ” Ajayi is an IT specialist who allegedly met up with Mackenzie in a park in North Salt Lake City on June 17th. While police have not released details about what happened next, they have said that they found Mackenzie’s remains and her belongings and believe that AJ is reasonable for her death.

Now AJ’s estranged wife is speaking out about her terrifying marriage to the suspected murderer.

Read on for all the latest details. Who is Tenisha Jenkins Ajayi?

1. Mackenzie

Mackenzie Lueck was a 23-year-old student in Salt Lake City before she vanished just over two weeks ago. She flew back to Utah from a family event in Southern California and let her family know when she landed. After that, she took a Lyft to a park in North Salt Lake City and that was the last her friends and family knew of her. It turns out that she was meeting AJ Ajayi and that somehow, he ended up murdering her. It’s possible that she met AJ using a dating app. She had several profiles and was seeking older men who would be “sugar daddies,” to provide financial support to her as well as romantic interest. She even had a private Instagram acount specifically for such relationshops, according to her friends. Police have not revealed whether that was the case with Mackenzie and AJ, however.

The family hopes for a different outcome.

RELATED: Where Is MacKenzie Lueck? New Details On The University Of Utah Student Who's Been Missing Since Lyft From Salt Lake City Airport Last Monday

2. AJ

AJ, a Nigerian immigrant, used to be an Army Information Technology specialist for two years before leaving the military. Currently, he works for Dell as a Senior Technical Support analyst. The Daily Mail reports that he once self-published a troubling novel called Forge Identity, which tells the story of a 15-year-old Nigerian boy who witnesses two graphic murders in which both of the victims are burned alive. He claimed the book, which is no longer for sale, was inspired by true events.

It is still unclear what happened between Mackenzie and AJ the night she died. Neighbors informed police that they saw him burning something with gasoline on June 17th and 18th, the day Mackenzie disappeared. Salt Lake City Police's Mike Brown told reporters: ”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." Police say they also found charred remains that were determined to be female human tissue with a DNA profile consistent with Mackennize’s. After that, AJ was arrested and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a body.

AJ faces multiple charges.

3. Ex-wife

Tenisha Jenkins Ajayi told The Daily Mail that her godmother introduced her to AJ in 2011. They were both living in Dallas, and she recalls: “My Godmother said to me I’ve got someone for you. 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 couple married shortly after meeting in 2011, even though Tenisha was pregnant at the time. AJ was not the father of the baby, or of her other children.

Their marriage was violent.

RELATED: AJ Ajayi Named Person Of Interest In Disappearance And Murder Of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck

4. Early warning signs

The marriage was rocky from the beginning. Tenisha recalls that she was too frightened of her new husband to consummate the marriage and contends that they never once had sex. Within months, he was pressuring her to leave Dallas with him. "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 went on to describe how AJ was growing more controlling as time when on, saying: “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.”

Police used cell phone records to link AJ to Mackenzie.

5. Final showdown

The last time Tenisha ever saw her husband was one evening in Dallas. She was at a friend’s house when AJ started repeating his threats to harm her if she didn’t agree to move to Utah. She recounted the harrowing story, saying: "He tried to tie me up with a phone cord. When I went to run he blocked the door. I ended up jumping through a window and cutting my arm on the glass. 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.” She fled to a friend's apartment so he couldn't find her and they have never had any contact since.

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The pair were both at the park where Mackenzie was last seen.

6. Never divorced

In the years that followed, AJ moved away to Utah, but he never agreed to divorce Tenisha, though she asked. She was shocked when she heard about his arrest for the murder of Mackenzie Lueck and suggested that he might have been on drugs when he did it, telling the Daily Mail that she had suspected he was an alcoholic at the time she knew him. “When he drank he became aggressive,” she says. “'I knew he was dangerous but not this dangerous. I feel like he had to be on drugs, maybe PCP or something.”

AJ never agreed to divorce Tenisha.

Tenisha hopes that Mackenzie’s family gets justice, saying “'If he took an innocent child he needs to spend his life in jail,” she said.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.