‘Strong stench’ described near home of person of interest in case of missing Utah student

UTAH — Investigators have executed a search warrant at a house in connection to missing college student Mackenzie Lueck, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Salt Lake City Police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said that authorities would release more information in the case on Thursday morning after searching the home in the Fairpark neighborhood on Wednesday night. According to KSL, officials were still searching the house Thursday.

Neighbors said that the officers took police dogs and shovels inside the home and removed undescribed items.

Salt Lake City police have said they believe the house had a connection to Lueck’s disappearance but have not said why. Fox News reports that neighbors of the person of interest claimed the person recently was burning something that left off a “strong stench.” No arrests have been made.

Lueck, a 23-year-old senior at the University of Utah, has been missing since the morning of June 17, when she was dropped off by a Lyft in a park where she met another individual, according to police.

Lueck had flown into the Salt Lake City International Airport after attending a family funeral in California and exited the airport's departure area sometime after 2 a.m.

Images taken from the airport's surveillance footage, show Lueck walking through the airport and rolling her luggage past a baggage carousel.

According to police, Lueck then took a Lyft to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake City. The Lyft driver dropped her off and went to pick up other riders.

"Mackenzie was met at Hatch Park by an individual in a vehicle," Doubt told reporters on Monday. "The Lyft driver left Mackenzie at the park with that person and stated that Mackenzie did not appear to be in any type of distress."

Police cannot confirm the make or model of the car. The identity of the driver remains unknown, Doubt said.

Lyft confirmed that Lueck's route showed no irregularities and ended at the destination she entered. The driver continued providing rides immediately after dropping her off, the rideshare company said. "We are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigation."

Lueck missed a flight to Los Angeles the morning of June 23 and a midterm exam. Her sorority sister Ashley Fine told KSL that was out of character because Lueck is "extremely dedicated."

"She would never miss her midterms or anything like that," Fine said.

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