SALT LAKE CITY (CBSLA) – Authorities Wednesday raided a suburban Salt Lake City home owned by a person of interest in their investigation into the disappearance of a 23-year-old El Segundo woman.
Mackenzie Lueck has not been seen since the early morning hours of June 17, when she returned to Salt Lake City after attending her grandmother’s funeral in the Los Angeles area.
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.
She arrived at Hatch Park, where the Lyft driver told detectives that another person with a car was there waiting for her. Friends and family say they are unsure why she went to that park because she does not live in that area.
On Wednesday night, as part of the Lueck case, Salt Lake City police served a search warrant at a home listed as an Airbnb rental located at 547 North 1000 W In the Fairpark neighborhood, according to CBS affiliate KUTV.
On Thursday morning, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters that the owner of the home is a person of interest in her disappearance. Brown did not identify the man or provide any details on his possible relationship to Lueck. He remains free at this time and has not been arrested.
Brown also said that police are searching for a mattress and box spring that were given away last week from the home.
“Last night, several people made us aware of a mattress and box spring that were given away from the residence at 547 North 1000 W in Fairpark,” Brown said. “We ask those who took the mattresses or box springs to please contact the Salt Lake City Police Department.”
Brown would not confirm whether police believe that the homeowner is the same person who met Lueck at the park.
Investigators seized dozens of boxes of ammunition, police told KUTV. They were also seen carrying out a pitchfork and other items as evidence. Police were also seen digging in the backyard.
“This is a digital forensic investigation,” Brown said. “This is covering computers, cell phones, IP addresses, URLs, texting apps. So this is very complicated, and it has a digital footprint that our investigators have been following since last Thursday.”
KUTV reports that the homeowner is a Utah State University graduate who served in the military and is a freelance model. It’s unclear if the homeowner is a suspect in the disappearance.
After being last seen by the Lyft driver, Lueck did not show up for any of her exams or classes and has not communicated with any friends or family since that text to her parents.
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, June 23. However, she never showed up for that flight. She’s also been absent on social media.
Police, meanwhile, have said that the Lyft driver is not a suspect.
We do not have reason to doubt” the Lyft driver’s story, Salt Lake City Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt told reporters Monday.
“He took calls immediately after he dropped her off, so his timing and whereabouts have been confirmed,” Doubt said.