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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The owners of WaterCreek Nails and Spa said a break-in resulted in thousands of dollars worth of da...

Shelby Lofton

Downtown nail spa broken into, hate speech spray-painted on the wall

The owners of WaterCreek Nails and Spa said a break-in resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damage, but the hate speech left behind made the situation worse.

8 hours ago

A Utah Highway Patrol vehicle in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Deseret Ne...

Mark Jones

UHP trooper injured in collision with alleged DUI driver

The Utah Highway Patrol says a 24-year-old man was taken into custody early Saturday morning after he was allegedly driving more than 100 mph and attempted to elude authorities.

11 hours ago

City officials in Eagle Mountain say a family of nine has been displaced following a house fire Sun...

Mark Jones

Eagle Mountain family safely escapes house fire, crews prevent home from being total loss

City officials in Eagle Mountain say a family of nine has been displaced following a house fire Sunday afternoon.

13 hours ago

Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Jeffrey R. Holland (center) records a histor...

Tad Walch, Deseret News

‘I’m planning on eternity’: President Holland rededicates historic St. George Utah Temple

President Jeffrey R. Holland rededicated the St. George Utah Temple, the oldest operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after a major renovation.

14 hours ago

Viktoria Tibbitts, center, with her sister and mom. A fundraiser was held Sunday for Viktoria, who ...

Brianna Chavez

Dozens show up to Riverdale Denny’s to support employee hit by truck

A busy Sunday is meant to be expected, but this Sunday's workday was much more meaningful for employees at the Denny's on Riverdale Road.

14 hours ago

Lloyd D. Newell, the announcer and writer of the weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast for the p...

Devin Oldroyd

Lloyd Newell announces departure from ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

After 34 years, Lloyd Newell, host of the Tabernacle Choir’s “Music & the Spoken Word”, announced he is concluding his service next year.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Former Investigators Share Insight On Questions Surrounding Lueck Case