Close friends of MacKenzie Lueck, the University of Utah student who hasn’t been seen in nearly a week, are convinced she is in danger. She is not the kind of person who would let her cat starve, miss a wedding, blow off work or skip midterm exams.
Those are some of the commitments Lueck, 23, hasn’t met this week, according to Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister who counts Lueck as a best friend.
“For her to not reach out to me is very unlike her. She is usually in touch with me every day,” Stoner said Sunday afternoon at a news conference in front of Salt Lake City police headquarters. “We don’t believe she would miss a midterm because she was stressed. I am positive something is wrong. … I don’t believe she would go off and not contact one person.”
At the time of her disappearance, Lueck was returning from a trip to Southern California, where she attended her grandmother’s funeral. Lueck, who goes by Kenzie, landed at Salt Lake City International Airport about 1 a.m. Monday, June 17. She texted her parents to let them know she made it safe, then got into a Lyft. The driver dropped her off in North Salt Lake. And she hasn’t been heard from since.
Police have released no details about the location where Lueck was dropped off, which is a 20-minute drive northwest of her home in Salt Lake City.
What’s the status of the search?
Salt Lake City police issued a news release Saturday urging the public to help find Lueck, saying “detectives are concerned for MacKenzie’s welfare.” But in that same release, they said investigators have not “discovered any information that would lead us to believe that MacKenzie has been harmed or is in danger at this time.”
There is no formal search party.
“We don’t have anyone searching any particular area right now,” Salt Lake City police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said Saturday, “because we don’t have any credible evidence of where she might be.”
Lueck’s friends spent Saturday handing out missing person fliers around Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
She was supposed to fly back to Los Angeles on Sunday to attend an upcoming wedding, but she did not make the flight, according to friend Ashley Fine.
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“She threw a birthday party for her cat, so for her not to come home to her cat is not adding up,” Fine said Sunday standing side by side with Stoner.
Police posted on Facebook that detectives have worked throughout the weekend and are following any and all leads, though declined to answer any questions from reporters.
“We are working diligently to maintain the integrity of this case and ask that anyone with information on MacKenzie or her possible location please contact us,” the police statement reads, offering the nonemergency phone number 801-799-3000.
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