Former Prosecutor Provides Perspective On Lueck Case
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A longtime former prosecutor said a few moves made by law enforcement in the disappearance of Mackenzie Lueck seemed to be telling signs of where they were going in their investigation.
Police have held tight to the vest what they may have in the investigation into the 23-year-old University of Utah student’s disappearance.
Chief Mike Brown with the Salt Lake City Police Department said detectives were scouring through several leads, even after bags of items were taken from the home of a person of interest.
The chief said officers wanted to protect the investigation, and were holding some details from the public as they continued searching Lueck’s digital footprint and processing items in the crime lab.
Kent Morgan, who handled homicide cases at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office for 29 years before becoming a defense attorney, said that the mattress and box springs police were seeking in connection with the location they searched Wednesday could yield critical DNA evidence if a crime was in fact committed.
“If you assault somebody for a sexual purpose, a mattress and a box springs sounds like a place where that assault may have taken place,” Morgan said. “If that did occur and somebody is trying to get rid of their homicide scene, then DNA comes to mind as why somebody’s DNA may be found on that mattress or bed spring unless that’s where something terrible happened.”
Salt Lake City police maintained earlier Thursday that the disappearance of Mackenzie Lueck remained a missing person investigation. Chief Brown said they had not found any evidence that anything criminal has happened.
Officials noted the homeowner of the property they searched at 547 N. 1000 West was a “person of interest” in the case. No arrests have been made.
Aerial footage captured by Chopper 5 early Thursday morning showed areas where investigators had apparently been digging into the backyard.
“People who are digging up a crime scene have some information that something is underground,” Morgan said. “People don’t bury things in the backyard unless they’re trying to keep other people from discovering that.”
Private investigator Rob Joseph of Paramount Detective Agency said he actually met Lueck at a downtown bar in the weeks prior to her disappearance.
“We kind of hit it off having conversations,” Joseph said. “She disclosed that she was on Seeking Arrangement, and, you know, I just made some off-the-wall comment that it was kind of risky for young girls to be in that. They really don’t know how dangerous it is.”
The site touts connections based on “mutually beneficial” relationships. Joseph said he worried it also served as a magnet for predators looking to take advantage of women.
“Getting into any situation like that might not end well,” he said.
The private investigator said he couldn’t believe it when he learned Lueck had vanished.
“It was coincidental. I don’t know if it was fate,” Joseph said. “It just seemed odd to me that I had actually communicated with this person just a few weeks before, and she revealed to me that she was on Seeking Arrangement.”
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