Former Investigators Share Insight On Questions Surrounding Lueck Case

Jun 26, 2019, 11:48 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As the investigation into the life of Mackenzie Lueck and her disappearance intensifies, and important questions go unanswered, it’s easy to assume investigators have run into dead ends.

However, according to a couple of former law enforcement investigators, that’s unlikely because they don’t usually share everything they know.

There are numerous big questions that remain unanswered beyond: “Where is Mackenzie Lueck? Who did she meet? Where is that car? and Why is her phone still off?”

Former investigators said they have the same concerns.

“You need to put all hands on deck and you need to scorch the earth with regards to this investigation,” said Chris Bertram, a former deputy chief and Iinvestigator with the Unified Police Department.

In the course of his career, he was involved in many investigations with UPD and today works as a private investigator.  He also teaches criminal justice classes at Salt Lake Community College, including classes on the psychology of criminal behavior and psychological profiling.

Even when it appears police are making no progress, Bertram said, they regularly keep details to themselves.

“It’s an important investigative tool to hold back some information that you can corroborate with other witnesses who come forward,” he said.

It is important, he said, to hold back some elements to preserve the integrity of the investigation.  Bertram believes Salt Lake City Police Detectives are working up a psychological profile, scouring Lueck’s phone calls and texts, and tracking down everyone she contacted before her phone went silent.

“One of the things that concerns me about the case is: there is a person that was there,” he said. “There was a person in the park in a vehicle picking her up. We haven’t heard from that person, and the police haven’t indicated they’ve talked to that person.”

Police also said yesterday they are trying to find out whether Lueck had other social media accounts.

“That’s important because maybe this young girl was living dual lives,” said Bertram.

If that’s the case, Bertram said, she may have been engaged in behaviors that were riskier than it otherwise appeared.

“We’re going to be concerned,” he said. “Because she could have put herself in harm’s way unknowingly.”

“It’s a strange set of facts,” said Greg Rogers, a retired FBI investigator.

He pointed out that it is very odd for a person her age to turn their phone off and keep it off.

“That seems intentional,” he said.  “I can guarantee you there has been a lot of effort concentrated right now on phone traffic.”

As an investigator, he also finds it unusual that Lueck took a Lyft to a park in the middle of the night.

“To go and meet someone at 3 a.m. at a relatively remote location,” Rogers said,  “I just find it very interesting.”

Mackenzie Lueck’s friends said her actions are out of character, and she must be in danger. The Lyft driver reports she voluntarily met with an unknown person at an unusual location in the middle of the night.

“That will get you thinking that it could be either one of these. It could be something criminal, or it could be just something that she chose to do,” said Robers. “So, you have to be looking at both of those options.”

Both investigators find it unusual that the public search for Mackenzie Lueck did not start until four days after she disappeared.  But, as with many details in an investigation, that may or may not have anything to do with finding out what happened, they said.

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Former Investigators Share Insight On Questions Surrounding Lueck Case