Tragic News: College Student-Athlete Shot Dead By Boyfriend, Registered Sex Offender; Mother On Phone During Attack

October 23, 2018

A University of Utah track and field student-athlete was walking home after one of her night classes when suddenly she was approached by her boyfriend carrying a gun.

Lauren McCluskey was shot and killed Monday evening when she was on the phone with her mother while walking back to her university apartment in Salt Lake City, reports "ABC News."

On Monday, October 22, at about 8:20 p.m., campus police were called to a possible abduction case, but later discovered McCluskey's dead body in a parked car on campus.

"She was returning to her university apartment from her night class and talking to me on the phone," Lauren's mother, Jill McCluskey, said in a statement.

"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."

Jill said she stayed on the phone while her husband called 9-1-1. She said after "a few minutes, a young woman picked up the phone and said all of Lauren's things were on the ground," Jill said.

Hours later, police found Lauren's boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, dead inside a Salt Lake City church from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Rowland and Lauren, 21, dated for about a month, Jill said. Rowland was a registered sex offender and had lied to Lauren about his age, name, and criminal history, Jill claimed. When Lauren learned about his criminal history, she ended their relationship immediately, the mother said.

Rowland was not a student at the university. He was convicted of attempted forcible sex abuse and enticing a minor over the internet in 2004, according to "ABC News."

Please keep the McCluskey family in your thoughts and prayers!