Chilling Calls In The Lead Up To Student's Murder Released
Dispatch recordings show University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey grew increasingly concerned about the handling of her harassment complaint before her ex-boyfriend killed her on campus.
Audio from a 911-call shows McCluskey, 21, telling Salt Lake City dispatchers she's worried about how long it was taking campus police to investigate 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, a sex offender who had lied about his identity.
McCluskey's first call came a day after she initially reported Rowland was extorting her over compromising photos. The second was six days later, the same day campus police opened an investigation. Both times, dispatchers directed her back to university police under protocol. She died three days after the second call.
University officials said the department is understaffed, but her death could not have been prevented. McCluskey's parents said the university failed to protect her.
Rowland, 37, had been lurking on campus for days trying to confront the woman who had broken up with him weeks earlier when she discovered his criminal background, university police chief Dale Brophy said in October.
Rowland spent the hours before the fatal shooting Monday in McCluskey's dorm building socializing with her friends, Brophy said.
McCluskey, a track athlete at the school, filed a complaint with campus police alleging Rowland had demanded money in exchange for not posting compromising pictures of the couple online. She had sent $1,000 to an account in hopes of preserving her reputation, Brophy said.
Police were investigating the case as sexual extortion and knew Rowland was a sex offender but not that he was on parole, Brophy said.