Missing Utah College Student Took Lyft To Meet Someone In The Park, Police Say

The Lyft driver told police Mackenzie Lueck placed her bags inside the car of the person she was meeting and didn't appear distressed, but she hasn't been seen again.

By Jill Sederstrom

A missing University of Utah college student took a Lyft from the airport to meet an unknown person in the park in her last known movements before disappearing more than a week ago, police said.

Salt Lake City Police said Mackenzie Lueck, 23, arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport around 1:35 a.m. Monday, June 17, after attending her grandmother’s funeral. She texted her mom at 2:01 a.m. to let her know she’d arrived, but instead of returning home from the airport, Lueck requested a Lyft driver take her to Hatch Park in north Salt Lake City, according to CBS News.

Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt said the driver arrived to pick up Lueck for the early morning ride at 2:42 a.m. and dropped her at the park just a short time later at 2:59 a.m., The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Someone was waiting at the park to meet Lueck and the Lyft driver told police that she put her bags inside the person’s car.

MacKenzie Lueck

“The Lyft driver left MacKenzie at the park with that person and stated that Mackenzie did not appear to be in any type of distress,” Doubt told reporters.

It was the last time the college senior was seen and investigators are now working “around the clock” to try to determine what may have happened to her.

Lueck’s family reported her missing on the afternoon of June 20 after she failed to show up for a midterm exam, local station KSTU reports.

In the week that she’s been missing, friends say Lueck has missed her college midterms, failed to feed her cat and missed a flight back home to California to attend a wedding. Her phone has been turned off since the morning she disappeared and worried friends and family members say they’ve been unable to reach her.

“No call, no email, no social media, nothing,” friend Kennedy Stoner told CBS News.

Investigators say there is no evidence of foul play and believe it’s possible she’s just “off the grid” but are concerned by the length of time she’s been missing and her lack of contact with those who know her.

“Mackenzie, we are asking you to please reach out,” Doubt said. “We just want to make sure that you are safe, and we will respect your wishes.”

Lueck is a part-time senior at the University of Utah where she is majoring in kinesiology and pre-nursing and minoring in health, according to a statement released Monday by the university.

“The University of Utah is deeply concerned about the well-being of Mackenzie “Kenzie” Lueck and her family,” they wrote. “The university is cooperating with the Salt Lake City Police Department, which is investigating her disappearance.”

Lueck’s family also released a statement Monday asking anyone with information about her disappearance to contact authorities.

"Our primary goal is to find Mackenzie and bring her home. Her family is grateful for the concern, prayers and the tireless efforts of the Salt Lake City Police and members of the community," they said.

As the investigation continues, police are searching the area surrounding Hatch Park and have also established a special tip line manned by six detectives. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call 801-799-4420.

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