26 October, 2018
Her track teammates say they were blessed to have her.
McCluskey, a senior from Pullman, Washington, was found dead in a parked auto in a lot outside of a campus residence hall.
McCluskey's mother, Jill, released a statement to KSL saying Lauren dated the suspect for about a month.
"This news has shaken not only myself but our entire University of Utah athletics family to its core", school athletic director Mark Harlan said in a separate statement.
There were unbridled tears as students mourned a university athletics star shot dead by her enraged ex. Lauren McCluskey, 21, was a senior at the University of Utah. She said when she heard the news of McCluskey's death she felt like, she had to do something for the family because of the kindness they showed her when her husband passed. A few minutes later, a woman picked up the Lauren's phone and told her parents that her belongings were on the ground.
Early Tuesday morning, Salt Lake police learned Rowland was near the historic Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church at 239 E. Martin Luther King Jr.
The vigil was held at the Pullman High School track to reflect McCluskey's commitment to track and field.
At about 9 p.m. on Monday night, Lauren was returning to her room on campus when Jill, who was on the phone with her daughter and heard Lauren yell, "No, no, no!"
We have canceled day and evening classes for Tuesday, Oct. 23, to allow our campus community to grieve the senseless loss of this bright, young woman.
She signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Utah in November 2014.
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After reports of the shooting, the university identified the suspect as sex offender Melvin Rowland, 37. He was found dead hours later after killing himself inside a church Tuesday, authorities said.
Watkins said she gave McCluskey's parents a posthumous degree for their daughter, a senior from Pullman, Washington, who was majoring in communication.
He was convicted in 2004 on a felony charge of enticing a minor and attempted forcible sexual abuse, also a felony, according to the Utah Department of Corrections sex offender registry.
He later confronted the 21-year-old McCluskey in the parking lot, dragged her into a vehicle and shot her multiple times in the back seat, Brophy said at a news conference.
McCluskey, from Pullman, Washington, had ended her relationship with Rowland, who reportedly responded with anger.
Around 8:20 p.m., university police received a report of a possible abduction in a parking lot outside a residence hall.
The University of Utah set up a memorial fund and an online page to leave messages of support that can be found here.
"Everyone associated with our program is devastated by the loss of Lauren", Utah track and field coach Kyle Kepler said in a statement.
Kaitlin Felsted, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Corrections, said police didn't make parole officers aware of the complaint filed by McCluskey.
University Police Lt. Brian Wahlin told the Salt Lake Tribune that officers were searching for Rowland after he got into an argument with McCluskey, 21, at about 9pm Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of those dear to her".