Community devastated by MacKenzie Lueck’s death

SALT LAKE CITY — The tragic story of MacKenzie Lueck can be disturbing, horrific and hard to understand.

"I was hoping they were going to find her, but not like this," said a woman who lives near the house on 1000 West where police say they found evidence that MacKenzie was murdered.

The University of Utah student's death has deeply affected those in the community.

"It makes me angry," said Cheri Pearson, another neighbor. "I'm really, really angry."

A memorial is growing outside the home where police say they found MacKenzie's remains.

People stopped by to pay their respects, saying they wanted to do what they could after hearing the horrific news.

"I didn't know her, but nobody deserves that," said Andrea Simpson, who helped set up a small memorial in front of the crime scene. She began to get emotional as she spoke. "If I can put some balloons up or maybe some flowers-- it's the least I can do."

Others are still watching in horror, disbelief and disgust. Neighbors say now, they're left to cope after police said they found remains in a burn pile in the backyard.

"I personally don't want to even go over there," Pearson said. "It gives me a whole different feeling."

"Devastating. This is the worst thing in the world," a neighbor said, as she and her husband stood with their arms around each other, looking across the street to the house. "I can't believe he did that to her. I just can't believe it's so close to home."

A GoFundMe set up by a close friend of MacKenzie's to help the Lueck family with funeral costs can be found here. 

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic or intimate partner violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

Other resources available:

  • University of Utah Counseling Center: 801-581-6826
    • After-hours crisis line: 801-587-3000
  • University of Utah Center for Student Wellness: 801-581-7776
  • 24/7 Crisis Line on SafeUT App

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