MacKenzie Lueck took a ride with a Lyft driver from Salt Lake City International Airport early June 17 to North Salt Lake’s Hatch Park — where she met someone in a vehicle, say Salt Lake City police.
That’s the last time police, or Lueck’s family and friends, know the whereabouts of the 23-year-old University of Utah student, said Tim Doubt, assistant police chief.
In that week, Lueck missed a midterm exam and a scheduled flight to California on Sunday. She has not used her phone and has not visited her home near Trolley Square. Her family filed a missing-persons report Thursday afternoon.
There is still no evidence of foul play, Doubt said, but “we want to make sure she is all right.”
Police spent Monday canvassing the Hatch Park area and following leads from a newly created tip line. Six detectives are answering calls — at 801-799-4420 — and others are chasing down the information.
Doubt pointed out that Lueck could be “off the grid” voluntarily and does not want to be found. Doubt addressed Lueck directly, through the media: “MacKenzie, we are asking you to please reach out. … We just want to make sure that you are safe, and we will respect your wishes.”
Doubt gave this timeline of Lueck’s activities on June 17: Her plane from California landed at 1:35 a.m. She texted her mother at 2:01 a.m. She caught a Lyft at 2:42 a.m., riding to Hatch Park, arriving at 2:59 a.m. There she met someone in a vehicle.
Lueck did not appear to be in distress, the Lyft driver told police, and the Lyft driver went on to pick up other passengers. Doubt said police need to confirm the make and model of the vehicle, and a description of the person Lueck met, before releasing those details. Police are looking at surveillance footage around Hatch Park, Doubt said, adding that there were no cameras inside the park.
Opening the tip line, Doubt said, will enlist the public in answering questions the police are still investigating: Whom Lueck met in North Salt Lake? Whether she has an alternate phone or social media accounts the police do not know about? And whether she has been in contact with anyone on social media since last Monday?
The University of Utah released a statement Monday afternoon saying officials are “deeply concerned" about the well-being of Lueck and her family, and that the school is cooperating with the police investigating her disappearance.
“MacKenzie is enrolled part time as a senior at the U., and is majoring in kinesiology and pre-nursing and minoring in health,” the statement said. “She has been enrolled at the U. since fall 2014. Because of privacy laws that protect MacKenzie’s personal information, the university cannot provide further details.”
The U.'s dean of students has spoken with family to offer support and to express the campus community’s shared hope for her safe return, the statement notes. The dean’s office is also talking with and providing support to MacKenzie’s classmates, and the U.’s Counseling Center is available to assist those in need.
In a prepared statement sent to FOX 13, Lueck’s family said they were "grateful for the concern, prayers and the tireless efforts of the Salt Lake City Police and members of the community.”
Earlier in the day, Salt Lake City police posted on Twitter a tip line specifically for the case. Anyone with information should call 801-799-4420 and reference case 19-111129.
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