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Salt Lake City Police Department

Police release photos of U. student from day she went missing

By Liesl Nielsen and Lauren Bennett, KSL.com | Updated - Jun 25th, 2019 @ 10:31pm | Posted - Jun 25th, 2019 @ 1:36pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Police released the last known photos of missing University of Utah student, 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck, Tuesday at a news conference.

The released photos come from security footage and show Lueck at Salt Lake International Airport after her flight deplaned at 2:09 a.m. and before she got into a Lyft vehicle at around 2:40 a.m., on the last day her family says they heard from her, June 17.

Salt Lake Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt said investigators can’t confirm the make and model of the vehicle that later allegedly picked Lueck up from Hatch Park, 50 W. Center Street in North Salt Lake, the destination her Lyft dropped her off.

Investigators interviewed both the Lyft driver and the company and say their accounts of what happened corroborate the evidence already found. The Lyft driver is "not a suspect at this time," police said.

Company records show the Lyft driver dropped Lueck off at the park and immediately began offering rides afterward. The Lyft driver also told police Lueck did not appear to be in a state of distress when she arrived at the park.

Here's what police know about Lueck's time in Salt Lake on June 17, before she disappeared:

  • 1:35 a.m.: Lueck, a senior at the U., arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport after returning from a family funeral in California.
  • 2:40 a.m.: She got in a Lyft that drove her to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake.
  • About 3 a.m.: The Lyft dropped Lueck off at the park and she met up with someone in a vehicle there.

Tuesday at the news conference, Doubt said police don’t know anything about the person she allegedly left the park with, adding descriptions were vague and it could’ve been a man or woman.

He asked whoever went with Lueck from the park to please come forward and speak with police.

He also reiterated that police have found no signs of foul play related to Lueck’s disappearance, but noted going off the grid was unlike her according to friends and family.

Police also released information about the department’s prior interactions with Lueck: a traffic ticket from 2015, an assault from about a year ago, and a found property case from about six months ago.


Watch Tuesday's press conference below


Doubt said investigators don’t think these prior interactions are in any way related to her disappearance and said police haven’t heard from Lueck since she reported her property found in January.

Doubt didn’t release further details regarding the department’s prior interactions with Lueck.

Family and friends have not heard from Lueck for eight days, and there has been no activity on her social media accounts or banks cards, police said.

Police also believe her cellphone has been turned off. At Tuesday’s news conference, Doubt echoed Monday’s update and said police are still investigating possible other social media accounts Lueck might have and are still looking to answer the following questions:

  • Who did she meet at the park?
  • Does she have a cellphone her friends and family don't know about?
  • Does she have social media accounts her friends and family don't know about?
  • Has anyone been in contact with her over the past week?

Lueck missed a midterm test last week and a flight back to California on Sunday.

Investigators are still unsure whether Lueck is in danger or if she purposefully does not want to be found.

"Mackenzie, we are asking you to please reach out to either the Salt Lake City Police Department or a law enforcement agency (where) you are at. We just want to make sure you are safe and we will respect your wishes,” Doubt said during a Monday press conference.

Doubt assured police will continue to update the public surrounding Lueck’s case so long as it doesn’t interfere with the investigation or her safety.

Since a tip line was set up for this case, police have received more than 125 tips from the public, Doubt said. He again urged anyone with information to call the line at 801-799-4420.

A friend of Lueck, Juliana Cawley, read a statement Tuesday from Lueck’s family that also asked the public to please send any information to police at the tip line.

In addition, the statement announced the Salt Lake City Police Department will act as the family’s official media representative and asked people not to contact the family directly.

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