Cops Search for Mattress Possibly Linked to Missing Utah Student as Her Instagram Account Shows New Activity
Salt Lake City police are looking for a mattress and box spring that they say may yield clues in the disappearance of 23-year-old University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck.
On June 17, Lueck took a Lyft from the Salt Lake City airport to a local park. She met someone else in a vehicle there, police say. She hasn’t been seen since.
On Wednesday night, officers descended on a private residence on the northwest side of the city. According to the Deseret News, Salt Lake Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt told reporters at the scene that the house and its occupants have been “a nexus to the case.”
Authorities took several bags of potential evidence from the home, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. They also towed away a vehicle.
But now, police are searching for items that were not found in the home. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters Thursday that they are looking for a mattress and box spring that were given away from the home last week. Brown asked that whoever took them contact the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Police have not named the homeowner as a suspect or accused him of any wrongdoing.
Chief Brown told reporters that the investigators are examining the case’s “digital footprint” to retrace the woman’s steps. “This is a digital forensic investigation,” he told reporters. “This is covering computers, cellphones, IP addresses, URLs, texting apps.”Before her disappearance, Lueck was active on social media. Though she hasn’t posted anything since June 17, Fox News reports that on Wednesday, Lueck’s personal Instagram handle followed an account called Fatherless. Her friends noticed the new activity and reported it to authorities, Fox reports.
The young woman’s family filed a missing persons report on June 20.
During a Monday press conference, assistant police chief Tim Doubt told reporters that there was no evidence of foul play, and suggested that Lueck may have opted to “go off the grid.”
But on Wednesday night, dozens of officers appeared to search the garage and driveway of the home. Doubt told reporters that more answers could emerge in upcoming days.
On the day before she vanished, Lueck had been in her native California to attend her grandmother’s funeral. According to Doubt, she landed back in Salt Lake City at 1:35 a.m. She texted her mother at 2:01 a.m. At 2:42 a.m., she caught a Lyft to Hatch Park. There she met the person in the vehicle.
The Lyft driver told police that Lueck did not appear to be in distress. After dropping Lueck off, the Lyft driver went on to pick up other passengers. He has cooperated with police, Doubt says.
Anyone with information about the 5’ 6”, 120 lb. Lueck is encouraged to call (801) 799-3000.