Published: Fri, October 26, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Utah man kills college track standout, police say

Utah man kills college track standout, police say

Asked if law enforcement had done enough to protect her, university police chief Dale Brophy said, "I want the answer to that question as well.The detective had been in contact with Ms. McCluskey, and they were working to build a case". USA Today reported that the gun Rowland used to kill himself was the same gun used to kill McCluskey.

A vigil for McCluskey was held on Wednesday night.

Brophy outlined a timeline of McCluskey's relationship with Rowland, who had lied to the woman about his name, age and criminal background when the two met in a downtown bar where Rowland had been contracted to work as a bouncer.

Rowland was released from prison in 2012 after serving eight years and has twice been sent back from halfway houses after violating his parole, Utah prison spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said.

"I don't know how we're going to get on without her but we have to", McCluskey's grandfather Ross Rudeen said.

Several students heard gunshots, and the campus was put on lockdown with students instructed to shelter-in-place.

The prime suspect was her ex-boyfriend of one month, Melvin S. Rowland, although the police claimed it was he who "shot and killed" Lauren, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

On October 13, Brophy said McCluskey told police she paid someone $1,000 to prevent revealing photos of her from being posted online.

McCluskey then requested assistance from university police to get her auto back from Rowland, who lied to her about his name, age and criminal history, her relatives told the station. "Our deepest sympathy is extended to Lauren's family and friends".

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Police made contact with Lauren McCluskey, but she told them she did not feel uncomfortable having Rowland drop off her auto, Brophy said.

"She blocked his and his friends' phone numbers and complained to University of Utah police that she was being harassed", she said. Lauren was a star track athlete with an outstanding 3.75 GPA and was set to graduate in May 2019.

"He had his story down and knew exactly what to say about his life", she told KSTU.

Police told KSL-TV they started searching for Melvin Rowland, 37, who reportedly had a previous relationship with McCluskey and was believed to have had some kind of dispute with her on campus before the shooting. Rowland is a registered sex offender and was convicted for attempted forcible sex abuse in 2014, according to KSTU.

Salt Lake City police say the 37-year-old Rowland killed himself overnight at a church after police tracked him down after the shooting.

Chief Dale Brophy said Tuesday that Lauren McCluskey had filed a police report on October 12 against Melvin Rowland.

"This news has shaken not only myself but our entire University of Utah athletics family to its core", school athletic director Mark Harlan said in a separate statement. McCluskey was found shot in a auto Monday night near on-campus student housing. She then filed harassment reports to the campus police on October 12 and 13.

"It didn't seem like it was real at all", Harrison said, adding that it became more real when she learned that a student had died. Austin Boutain, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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