SALT LAKE CITY — A Sandy woman is giving a better understanding and insight into a house police extensively searched in relation to missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck.
Police served a search warrant on a home in the Fairpark area of Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon, and poured over the property for hours. They were seen going through a burn pile in the backyard, where neighbors said the owner of the home had been burning 'strong-smelling' fires in recent days.
Investigators placed items in evidence bags of every size. They towed the homeowner's car away, and also went through the garage.
Police finished hauling out evidence and took down the yellow tape on Thursday.
The owner of the home, who Salt Lake City Police have not publicly identified, is a person of interest in Lueck’s disappearance.
Tara Chatterton said her co-workers were talking about what happened when she came to work Thursday morning. She realized that she recognized the home.
“I saw images of the house, and I was like, ‘Wow!’” she said.
Chatterton said the homeowner hired her in March to clean his home.
“It's just like a basic wipe down of cleaning the house,” she explained. “I talked to him for an hour and a half while I was cleaning, so he was really nice and polite.”
She was shocked to see the home—and person she met—now part of a police investigation into a missing woman.
In addition to cleaning the man’s home, Chatterton said she also cleaned his Airbnb unit in the home’s basement. She described seeing something of note, that she indicated she hopes can help police in her investigation.
“There was cameras everywhere in the house,” she said. “In the master bedroom, there was three cameras in there.”
She said the cameras were set up in the master bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room and downstairs in the Airbnb unit.
Airbnb said Thursday the listing was not active.
A man stopped by the home Thursday, saying he was staying through Airbnb and had checked in the previous Friday. The man said he didn't notice anything suspicious with the home or home owner.
He went inside to collect his belongings, and leave.
The owner of the home is not in police custody. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said they are hoping to find the person who picked up a mattress and box spring from the home, which they said were given away. The homeowner had apparently recently advertised that he was giving away a mattress and box spring, posting two different ads for each item.
A shipment labeled as an adjustable massage bed arrived at the home Thursday.
Police said they received hundreds of mattress-related tips on Thursday, and they reiterated Thursday evening that they are only looking to speak to the specific people who personally picked up the mattress or box spring from the Salt Lake City home.
Salt Lake City Police said Thursday the next step is to test and analyze the evidence collected at the home.
Everyone, including Chatterton, is hoping police are getting closer to finding MacKenzie.
“Scary, yeah,” Chatterton said. “I hope she's found.”