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Utah city to replace ‘dummy’ cameras at park where Mackenzie Lueck was last seen

NORTH SALT LAKE — After friends of slain U. student Mackenzie Lueck spoke about the need for security cameras in public parks, the City Council voted 4-3 to add working cameras at Hatch Park, the place where the woman was last seen on June 17.

Although signs posted at the park indicate there are working surveillance cameras on site, City Manager Ken Leetham said in June only four of the 17 parks in the city have working cameras.

But Lueck’s friends feel real cameras at Hatch Park could have helped police in their investigation.

“I don’t think it would have saved her life, but I think it would have given us a lot more evidence,” Ashley Fine, one of Lueck’s friends, said at Tuesday's meeting. “It would have saved a lot of tax dollars because the police wouldn’t have had to get as many warrants … and just time, precious time.”

Lueck’s friends showed up at the North Salt Lake City Council meeting to voice their opinions. Fine raised concerns about security at a park with cameras that don’t actually function.

“It’s just gives people at the park a false sense of security,” she said.

Council members acknowledged the importance of replacing the cameras, especially since the public is now aware they aren’t recording anything. The cost of the new cameras is $6,000 to $8,000.

Police say Lueck, 23, met the man accused in her murder, Ayoola Adisa Ajayi, 31, after being dropped off by a Lyft driver about 3 a.m. on June 17. Her remains were found by police in a shallow grave under a grove of trees in Logan Canyon on July 3.

He faces charges of aggravated murder, a capital offense, aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, desecration of a human body, a second-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony.

North Salt Lake Mayor Len Arave commended the efforts of Lueck's friends.

“The way they’ve pursued this has been wonderful, very productive and I can’t say enough about them being involved to try and make our communities better,” Arave.

As for when and where the city will install the new cameras at the park, Arave declined to say, citing security concerns.