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‘Person of interest’ emerges in case of missing Utah woman

Salt Lake City police investigate a tip that may be connected to the disappearance of University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City Assistant Police Chief Tim Doubt said Wednesday night that detectives were serving a search warrant at the home in relation to the case, but refused to provide any more details. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Police investigating the case of a college student who went missing in Utah 10 days ago said Thursday that the owner of a home they searched in connection with the disappearance is a “person of interest” and that they are trying to find a mattress that had been inside his home.

The announcement came shortly after authorities spent 19 hours searching the man’s home in a middle class neighborhood on Salt Lake City’s west side, with neighbors describing officers entering it with shovels and police dogs.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said the man was not in custody and he declined to name him. But authorities have said that they believe that the house has a connection to the disappearance of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck, without providing details.

The mattress inside the man’s home had been given away, Brown said, and investigators want to speak with whoever might have taken it.

Lueck disappeared after taking a Lyft June 17 from the airport to a park, where police have said she met someone at about 3 a.m. and did not seem distressed. They have said the Lyft driver had no connection with her disappearance

The home that police searched is about 5 miles (1.6 kilometers) from that park.

The owner of the home that was searched rented part of it to short-term renters using home sharing rental sites, said neighbor Tom Camomile.

Lueck’s close friend, Ashley Fine, uploaded a new video Thursday morning onto the “Find Mackenzie Lueck” Facebook page saying she believes her friend is still out there. She pleaded with people to call police with any information that could help locate Lueck.

“Everyone around the country is looking for you. We’re advocating for you, we’re fighting for you, and we’re going to bring you home safely,” Fine said.

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