SALT LAKE CITY-A University of Utah student-athlete who was fatally shot on campus by her former boyfriend had broken off the relationship after learning he was a sex offender, authorities said Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Police gather near at University of Utah campus.
The Rev. France A. Davis, chaplain of the U of U football team, suggested listeners remember McCluskey by committing to peace. "We will leave no stone unturned in determining anything we can do to prevent something like this from happening again on our campus".
Melvin Rowland is the 37-year-old registered sex offender who is the suspected murderer of 21-year-old University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey. After discovering Melvin's criminal background, Lauren ended the relationship, her mother shared. Police found Lauren McCluskey, a student from Pullman, Wash., dead inside a parked vehicle near the south tower of the Medical Plaza residential hall. After a police chase, he shot himself and died at Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City on the same night.
Rowland spent almost a decade in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to trying to lure an underage girl online and attempted sex abuse charges, according to court records. When the campus lockdown was lifted, police tweeted that they believed the suspect had left the area and was no longer a threat to the campus.
"Last night a little before 9 pm, she was returning to her university apartment from her night class and talking to me on the phone", Jill McCluskey stated. On Oct. 10, she requested an escort from university police to retrieve the vehicle. McCluskey was a track and field star in Pullman and her grandparents spoke about how everyone was proud of her. Police later provided an escort for McCluskey after Rowland dropped her vehicle off in a parking lot several blocks from her dorm. Explaining why a formal investigation did not begin on October 13, Brophy said: "Our detectives have many cases, and our detectives started work on the Tuesday after the initial report on the 13th and [were] working other cases until" October 19. Harrison said that once they heard the news of McCluskey's death, she and her roommates began to cry. She says her daughter complained to police that she was being harassed. Rowland killed himself hours later at a church when police tracked him down after linking him to the killing through a description, clothing, and evidence at the scene, authorities said.
Police say Rowland killed McCluskey Monday night. Such posts were a violation of Rowland's parole terms, which prohibited him from using social media.
In the early stages of the investigation, officers didn't have enough information to pass on to any other law enforcement, Brophy said, adding that there were no indications from McCluskey that Rowland was threatening physical violence.
October 22, 8:38 p.m.: Rowland called a woman he met on a dating site, and asked her to pick him up.
He had violated his parole and was sent back to prison twice.
University of Utah Police Lt. Brian Wahlin says the female student's body was found about 9 p.m.in a auto near the medical towers, the Tribune reports.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Gary Herbert said corrections and parole officials had launched investigations into the handling of the case.
Brophy said there were police reports filed on October 12 and October 13 in Lauren McCluskey's case.
The recordings of the hearings show that Rowland was born in NY and adopted by an older couple who died when he was young.