Search for Missing University of Utah Student Continues

 

On Monday, June 17, University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck texted her mother to let her know that her flight from California had landed. Around 1 a.m. Lueck ordered a Lyft from Salt Lake City Airport to Hatch Park. That was the last time Lueck was seen or heard from.Salt Lake City Police Department

MacKenzie Lueck is slated to graduate during the 2019 school year and is studying kinesiology with the intention of becoming a nurse. She works as a lab associate at PRA Health Sciences and she is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority on campus.

Fellow sorority sister and recent U graduate Kennedy Stoner stated that “she is one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. She’s my best friend.” Stoner and her fellow sorority sisters have been among the strongest piloting forces in the search for Lueck.

Lueck was in California for her grandmother’s funeral. Upon Lueck’s return home she requested a Lyft to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, over 20 minutes from her apartment, which is located near Trolley Square. There has been no evidence to indicate that Lueck has any romantic partner. However, Ashley Fine, another member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, said, “She might have been meeting someone there. I just don’t see any other reason as to why she would be there at that time.”

Since Lueck’s disappearance she has missed work, a midterm exam and a second flight she had scheduled back out to California for a friend’s wedding. According to her friends, all of this behavior is out of character. In addition, her car has remained parked at her apartment and her luggage has not been located. An official press release from the Salt Lake City Police Department states, “[We] have spoken with both Lyft as well as the Lyft driver. Lyft and their driver have cooperated with the investigation.”  In a statement to Fox News, the company stated that Lueck’s ride did not contain any “irregularities and ended at the destination as originally entered by the rider.” Additionally, the driver immediately proceeded to pick up other rides without issue.

Missing poster for Mackenzie Lueck. Courtesy ABC News.

Despite not having been seen since the early morning of June 17, Leuck was only reported missing on Thursday, June 20. Since then, the SLCPD has been working fervently to locate her. In their official press release they state, “the SLCPD has not discovered any information that would lead us to believe that Mackenzie has been harmed or is in danger at this time,” but go on to state that “detectives are concerned for Mackenzie’s welfare.”

In a press conference on Sunday, Stoner and Fine state that though the police claim they have no reason to be concerned about her safety, “things aren’t adding up … It’s been seven days.”

Lueck’s family stated, “our primary goal is to find Mackenzie and bring her home,” and go on to say that “[They are] grateful for the concern, prayers and tireless efforts of the Salt Lake City Police and members of the community.” Her family theorizes that her phone either died or was turned off after she sent her arrival text, since her last known location was the airport. There has been no activity on any of her social media accounts, or any other activity on her phone. According to friends, Lueck’s family is flying out from El Segundo, California to help with the search.

No official search party has been organized, as police state that there are no solid leads on her location. Friends, sorority sisters and members of the community have been conducting small unofficial searches. While handing out missing person flyers, they have been scouring her neighborhood and neighborhoods nearby. Furthermore, a digital version of her missing person file has been circulating on social media.

Despite purported claims of sightings of Leuck in Colorado, there have been no definitive leads. Friends, family and the SLCPD encourage the citizens of Utah and neighboring states to continue looking for her. Lueck is 5 feet 6 inches tall, approximately 120 pounds with an athletic build, has blonde hair and brown eyes and also has a dream-catcher tattoo in the middle of her back.

If you see her or have any additional information on the case, please contact the Salt Lake City Police Department tip line for this case at 801-799-4420 and reference case number 19-111129.

a.ramos@dailyutahchronicle.com

@ChronyAng

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