Her Family Releases A Statement Detailing The Incident
On Monday night, a University of Utah student was shot and killed allegedly by an ex who lied about his criminal past.
Lauren McCluskey, an accomplished track-and-field athlete, was found dead in a parked car near a campus residential hall, according to ESPN.
Mark Harlan, the University of Utah director of athletics, released a statement on Twitter about McCluskey’s death. “This news has shaken not only myself but our entire University of Utah athletics family to its core,” he said. “We have university counselors and psychologists on standby to support Lauren’s teammates, coaches and friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of those dear to her.”
McCluskey’s killer was suspected to be Melvin Rowland, who was found dead in a church in Salt Lake City on Tuesday from a self-inflicted gun wound, according to a KUTV reporter.
According to KUTV, McCluskey’s parents released a statement sharing the details around their daughter’s death. According to them, Rowland was an ex-boyfriend who harassed McCluskey after she found out about his criminal past:
“He lied to her about his name, his age and his criminal history,” the family statement read. “Lauren was informed by a friend about his criminal history, and she ended the relationship with her killer on Oct. 9, 2018. He had borrowed her car, and she requested for the University of Utah police accompany her on Oct. 10, 2018 to get the car back. She blocked his and his friends’ phone numbers and complained to University of Utah police that she was being harassed. Last night a little before 9 p.m., she was returning to her university apartment from her night class and talking to me on the phone. Suddenly, I heard her yell, “No, no, no!” I thought she might have been in a car accident. That was the last I heard from her. My husband called 911. I kept the line open and in a few minutes, a young woman picked up the phone and said all of Lauren’s things were on the ground.”
According to ESPN, Rowland was a registered sex offender, who was convicted of forcible sexual abuse and enticing a minor.
The school decided to honor McCluskey by canceling morning and evening classes on Tuesday. A vigil is also scheduled for Wednesday planned by The Associated Students of the University of Utah and the Athletics Department.
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