Jazz star Donovan Mitchell honors slain Utah student Lauren McCluskey

Arturo Kim
October 26, 2018

McCluskey was a senior track athlete studying communications at the U. According to the university's statement, police discovered McCluskey's body in a parked auto outside an on-campus residence hall Monday night. Police said the suspect "forced entry to the Trinity AME Church on 600 St after a foot pursuit, then shot himself". A vigil for McCluskey is being planned for Wednesday evening at the Park Building on campus.

She said Lauren "previously dated her killer for about one month" and ended the relationship in early October after learning "he lied to her about his name, his age, and his criminal history".

University police now believe Melvin Shawn Rowland, 37, was behind the messages and efforts to extort McCluskey for money in exchange for promises that the photos would be kept off the internet.

Rowland killed himself hours later in a church as police closed in.

Police knew Rowland was a sex offender but not that he was on parole, Brophy said.

Rowland was granted parole on two prior occasions - in 2012 and 2016 - but violated the conditions of his release on both occasions and was returned to prison, according to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. I have a little sister and for that to happen and for a mother to lose her child, her daughter especially in that way.

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.

Police continue to search for a man they say shot and killed the student.

"When you recruit a student-athlete, you try to understand them, get to know them, and when you bring them on campus, you have an idea of what you want them to be and what you think they can be and Lauren exceeded in all of those areas", Kepler said.

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The actions of campus police at the University of Utah are under scrutiny after the shooting death of a student-athlete.

"The Pac-12 Conference joins the University of Utah and our entire conference community in mourning the loss of Lauren McCluskey, and expressing our deepest condolences to her family", the Pac-12 said in a statement. "She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed", her mother said.

The suspected shooter, Melvin Rowland, was found dead after an overnight manhunt led police to him at a location off campus.

Authorities said Tuesday that McCluskey had filed a police complaint against the 37-year-old Rowland after she learned he was a registered sex offender and broke off the relationship.

Wahlin said Rowland's body was found in the church.

Kaitlin Felsted, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Corrections, said police didn't make parole officers aware of the complaint filed by McCluskey. He was someone she had dated and who was harassing her.

October 22: 9:55 p.m.: While searching the parking lot, police find McCluskey's body in the back seat of a auto.

University of Utah police received a report around 8:20 p.m. of a possible abduction in a parking lot outside a campus residence hall.

McCluskey, 21, a senior in communications and a student athlete on the U of U's women's track team, was remembered as a dedicated athlete, good friend, a diligent scholar, a woman of faith, and someone who gave her limited free time to volunteer in the community, specifically at a retirement home. Austin Boutain, 25, confessed to aggravated murder in September and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to CNN affiliate KUTV.

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