The mother of a University of Utah track athlete who was killed on campus by her ex-boyfriend said she heard her daughter shout “No, no no!” as they spoke on the phone on Monday ahead of the fatal encounter.
Lauren McCluskey, a 21-year-old senior from Pullman, Washington, had broken up with her ex-boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland on October 9 and filed a complaint against him after learning he was a registered sex offender days before she was killed.
McCluskey and Rowland had dated for about a month when she ended the relationship upon learning he had lied about his age, name and criminal history, her mother, Jill McCluskey, said in a statement to KSL.
The Utah student was walking home from a night class on Monday around 9 p.m., when her mother heard Lauren shout “No, no no!” as they spoke on the phone.
“I thought she might have been in a car accident,” Jill McCluskey said. “That was the last I heard from her.”
She added that she and her husband, Lauren’s father, left the phone on and tried to hear what happened.
As Lauren’s father called 911, another woman picked up Lauren’s phone and told the McCluskeys that their daughter’s belongings were strewn across the ground.
The shooting prompted a school lockdown at the University of Utah as police searched for McCluskey, who was found dead in the back of a parked car, and Rowland, who was later found dead in Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rowland had spent nearly a decade in prison after pleading guilty to attempted sex abuse charges and trying to lure an underage girl online, according to court records seen by the Associated Press.
He was released from prison in 2013 and had recently left a halfway house, university police chief Dale Brophy said.