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Police release last known images of missing Utah college student, ask for tips

"Mackenzie, in the case you just want to be left alone, please let us know you are safe," police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said.
Image: Tim Doubt
Salt Lake City assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt releases video footage of a missing University of Utah student walking at Salt Lake City International Airport, during a news conference Tuesday, in Salt Lake City on June 25, 2019.Rick Bowmer / AP

Police in Salt Lake City on Tuesday released airport security camera footage that they say are the last known images of a college student who went missing more than a week ago.

"We don't have any evidence to suggest any foul play, but just the lack of this being in her character, we are concerned," police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said.

Mackenzie Lueck, 23, a native of El Segundo, California, and a senior at the University of Utah, landed at Salt Lake City International Airport early June 17 and then took a Lyft ride-share to a park where she is thought to have been met by someone in a car, police said.

"We see no indication that she has gone off the grid before," Doubt said. After speaking to Lueck's family and friends, police have determined "this kind of behavior is uncharacteristic for her."

But police are also unsure if she is in danger. "I would like to say again: Mackenzie, in the case you just want to be left alone, please let us know you are safe," Doubt said.

Lueck attended a funeral in California before she traveled to Salt Lake City, Doubt has said. She missed a midterm exam and was a no-show for a scheduled flight back to Los Angeles on Sunday, police said.

Time stamps from airport surveillance video show Lueck deplaned at 2:09 a.m. and got into a Lyft at 2:40 a.m., Doubt said. He said the video does not show her talking to anyone. She is seen walking from the jetway and stopping to pick up luggage.

Police have said that the Lyft driver and the ride-share company have been cooperative, and the driver said that when Lueck was dropped off, she did not appear to be in any distress.

But Doubt said that the description of the person she is thought to have met is vague, and police don't know if it was a man or a woman and can't confirm the make and model of the other vehicle.

Doubt said police have had three interactions with Lueck: a moving violation in 2015, an assault a year ago, and a case in which her property was found in January. All those cases have been resolved, and there is no indication any are connected to her disappearance, he said.

Mackenzie Lueck has been missing since June 17, 2019 and was last known to be at the Salt Lake City International Airport. She left the airport in a ride share vehicle and was dropped off at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake.Salt Lake City Police Dept

"Our detectives continue working around the clock on this case, and finding Mackenzie remains a very high priority for us," he said.

Doubt said that police are looking through any social media or other digital accounts she may have. Police said they had received around 125 tips through a tip line, and Doubt encouraged anyone with information or who has been in contact with her to contact police.

Officials also want to hear from anyone who knows whom she met in Hatch Park.

Lueck is enrolled part time at the university, majoring in kinesiology and pre-nursing and minoring in health. The university said it is cooperating fully in the search.

"The University of Utah is deeply concerned about the well-being of Mackenzie 'Kenzie' Lueck and our thoughts are with her family," the university said in a statement Monday.