911 calls from a Utah student who was killed by her ex-boyfriend show she voiced concern about him to police in the days before her death

  • Lauren McCluskey, 21, was killed by 37-year-old Melvin Rowland near the University of Utah campus on October 22.
  • Rowland killed McCluskey about two weeks after she’d broken up with him upon learning he had lied about his age, name, and criminal history.
  • McCluskey filed a harassment complaint against Rowland with campus police after the breakup.
  • Calls to 911 show she also complained to the Salt Lake City Police about not getting updates on the investigation.

Audio from 911 calls made by a University of Utah student who was later killed by her ex-boyfriend reveal she had voiced concern in the days before her death over the length of an investigation into a harassment complaint she made against him.

Lauren McCluskey, 21, was shot and killed by 37-year-old Melvin Rowland on October 22, about two weeks after she ended their relationship upon learning he was a registered sex offender who had lied about his age, name, and criminal history.

Rowland, who had spent nearly a decade in prison after pleading guilty to charges of attempted sex abuse and enticing a minor online, shot and killed himself hours after killing McCluskey.

On October 19, McCluskey called 911 and told Salt Lake City Police that investigators from the University of Utah’s campus police weren’t being timely with her harassment complaint against Rowland.

“I’m worried because I’ve been working with the campus police at the U, and last Saturday I reported, and I haven’t gotten an update,” she can be heard saying in recordings obtained by CNN. “They haven’t updated or done anything.”

McCluskey and Rowland had dated for about a month after meeting at a bar near campus in September.


Read more:
Mother of slain University of Utah student says she heard her daughter shout ‘No!’ on the phone before she was shot by her ex-boyfriend

She broke up with him on October 9 and filed a harassment complaint against him a few days later, McCluskey’s mother, Jill McCluskey, said in a statement to KSL in October.

Over the next two weeks, she called campus police several times to report attempted extortion and harassing messages.

She called Salt Lake City Police’s 911 dispatchers twice to express her frustration in the campus police.

Information on the 911 calls was released after a review from the Utah Department of Public Safety questioned what could have been done to prevent McCluskey’s death.

The review of the incident found that officers from the University of Utah police force did not know how to look up a person’s criminal background or parole information, according to KUTV.

The review found that the problems were system-wide and did not place blame on singular wrongdoers.

“The review team’s report identified gaps in training, awareness and enforcement of certain polices rather than lapses in individual performance,” the University of Utah said in a statement.

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