Friends and family plead for info on 23-yr-old University of Utah student who went missing last week after taking Lyft ride from airport
Mackenzie Lueck texted her parents on June 17 to inform them that she had landed safely at the Salt Lake City airport. That was the last anyone heard from her.
The 23-year-old University of Utah student landed home from a trip around 1 am, police said, before ordering a Lyft to an unfamiliar address in North Salt Lake City. Her phone has been switched off since she went missing, her luggage is nowhere to be found, and her car is still at her residence, her friends told The Salt Lake Tribune. Furthermore, she hasn't shown up to work or class ever since she went missing, according to The Daily Beast.
Speaking to local Fox station KTSU, Lueck's father said she texted him and his wife to tell them her flight had landed at around 1 am Monday, June 17. However, her family reported her missing only on Thursday, June 20.
According to the Tribune, while police are investigating her disappearance, a formal search party has not been set up as yet — despite the 23-year-old being off the radar for nearly a week.
Investigators said in a press release issued by the Salt Lake City police department on Saturday, June 22, that they have not "discovered any information that would lead us to believe that Mackenzie has been harmed or is in danger at this time," adding that "detectives are concerned for Mackenzie's welfare."
The Tribune also stated that Lyft has been cooperating with law enforcement in Utah to help trace Lueck's last known whereabouts.
In a conversation Fox News, the ride-share company said the car's route showed zero irregularities and that Lueck was successfully dropped off at her desired location, adding that the driver began picking up more passengers just moments after her ride was complete. While authorities have been in touch with Lueck's apparent driver, they are yet to furnish details of their account.
Salt Lake City Police Sargeant Brandon Shearer told ABC News both the driver and Lyft have been cooperative. "We've confirmed with Lyft, the app, that's where she requested to go, and with the driver that that's where she did go," he said.
In Lyft's statement to Fox News on Sunday, June 23, they acknowledged "how scary this must be for those who know and love Ms. Lueck... The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigations."
According to the Tribune, Lueck goes by the name "Kenzie" and is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Ashley Fine, a sorority sister of Lueck, has been roping in volunteers to help in the formal search. Speaking to the Tribune, she said she had no idea why her friend would have taken a ride to the address in North Salt Lake instead of heading home. As far as she knew, Lueck did not have a significant other.
Her friends organized a postering event at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City as part of a community effort to find her whereabouts. The event's Facebook page has 2,000 members to help expand the search and spread the word about her disappearance. "Everyone thinks that there's danger in this story," Fine told a local ABC news affiliate.
"Things aren’t adding up. She had another trip planned," she said. "She's making those plans with friends and family to have plans for the future. I don't think she would hurt herself or anything like that... If you're in a bad situation, please reach out... We’re really concerned for you."
Anyone with information about Lueck’s whereabouts is urged to call Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 19-111129.