SALT LAKE CITY (CBSLA) – Questions swirled Monday in the mysterious disappearance of a 23-year-old University of Utah student from El Segundo who went missing after flying from Southern California to Salt Lake City last week.
In the early morning hours of June 17, Mackenzie Lueck returned to Salt Lake City after attending her grandmother’s funeral in the Los Angeles area, according to CBS affiliate KUTV.
Lueck, a senior studying kinesiology at the University of Utah, took a Lyft ride from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, according to a news conference with Salt Lake City police Monday.
She arrived at Hatch Park at 2:59 a.m. local time, Salt Lake City Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt said. The Lyft driver told detectives that another person with a car was there waiting for her.
“Detectives have spoken with the Lyft driver, and learned that Mackenzie was met at Hatch Park by an individual in a vehicle,” Doubt said. “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.”
That was the last time she was seen. There was no word on whether the Lyft driver saw her get into the other car. There was no description of the person she was meeting or the vehicle itself.
“We do not have reason to doubt” the Lyft driver’s story, the assistant police chief told reporters.
“He took calls immediately after he dropped her off, so his timing and whereabouts have been confirmed,” Doubt said.
Friends and family say they are unsure why she went to that address because she does not live there.
Her parents last heard from her at 2 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on June 17, when she texted them to say she had landed safely.
She did not show up for any of her exams or classes last week and has not communicated with any friends or family since that text to her parents, KUTV reports.
Her family reported her missing three days after she disappeared, on Thursday, June 20. She had a return ticket back to Los Angeles International Airport scheduled for Sunday, KUTV reports. However, she never showed up for that flight. She’s also been absent on social media.
In a statement, Lyft told CBS News there were no irregularities in the ride Lueck took, and that it ended at the destination she entered in the app. The driver continued taking other customers immediately after dropping her off.
“We don’t have any evidence that any foul play has occurred,” Doubt said.
Her friends and sorority sisters were passing out fliers and have created missing person pages on Facebook and Twitter, hoping someone will come forward with information.
“I was supposed to have a girl’s night with her when she got back…I have been a little lost because I text her, and no response, it’s kind of hard,” friend Juliana Cauley told CBS This Morning. “And to be honest, I just call and text her hoping that she’ll pick up, or she’ll respond.”
Lueck is described as white, 5-foot-6, 120 pounds, with a thin build and blonde hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information can call the following tip line: 801-799-4420.