A University of Utah track athlete was shot and killed Monday night, the school announced.Lauren McCluskey, a senior communication major from Pullman, Washington, was found dead in the back seat of a parked car near a residential hall on campus. She was 21.
The suspect believed to be responsible for her death, Melvin Rowland, a registered sex offender, killed himself a short time later following a police pursuit, according to University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy. Rowland and McCluskey had a prior romantic relationship, Brophy said. Rowland was 37.Earlier this month, McCluskey filed a report with university police related to alleged harassment from Rowland. Detectives had been in touch with McCluskey regarding the allegation, according to Brophy, who would not provide further details related to that investigation.
Jill McCluskey, Lauren's mother and a professor at Washington State University, released a statement in which she described being on the phone with her daughter at the time of an apparent attack."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," the statement said. "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.