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New documents show Lauren McCluskey’s first reports to police more than a week before her murder

Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 20:05:16-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Newly released documents show the first reports Lauren McCluskey made to police more than a week before her murder.

Ten days — that’s the amount of time there was from student Lauren McCluskey’s first report to University of Utah Police, to the day of her murder.

“The public still wants to know what could have been done better to protect Lauren McCluskey, we’re still waiting on a lot of those answers,” said Nate Carlisle with The Salt Lake Tribune.

In documents released TO the Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday, we see the first and second time Lauren McCluskey found reason to have concerns over her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Shawn Rowland, a man she broke up with after learning he had lied to her about his name, age and criminal history.

“Of course Melvin Rowland had a lot of red flags in his personal history and with what he was doing to Lauren McCluskey,” Carlisle SAID.

Three days after their break-up, McCluskey filed her first report with University of Utah police, claiming she was receiving messages from Rowland’s friends.

“She is concerned that his friends are trying to lure her into a trap for some reason,” the officer wrote in his report.

"Lauren McCluskey was certainly upset about Melvin Rowland, she did not like what he was attempting to do to her,” Carlisle said. “But the report also specifically states at one point that Lauren McCluskey didn’t think he was dangerous."

“McCluskey stated that there have not been any threats made," the report continued.

Police told her without any threats or anything of criminal nature, there wasn’t much they could do but told her to to contact them if things escalated. The next day, she did, claiming Rowland was extorting her with a photo, demanding a thousand dollars to protect her ‘dignity.’

“The email also states that if she calls the cops that the picture will go viral including her family," the officer wrote.

“You’ve got a lot of potential red flags but the victim herself maybe didn’t appreciate the kind of danger she was in,” Carlisle said.

Despite the two reports, there is still a lot the public doesn’t know.

"There’s still a lot of things that either we’re not going to get, or we haven’t gotten yet,” Carlisle said. “We haven’t gotten witness statements for Lauren McCluskey, we haven’t gotten 911 calls related to both her early reports and the night of the shooting itself."

The university said those documents are set aside for a planned independent review within their police department.

“If they find the protocols were inadequate in the first place there’s going to be a lot of pressure to change or there’s going to be pressure as to why those protocols were inadequate, and it all leads back to, what could have been done to prevent Lauren McCluskey’s murder?” Carlisle said.

The University of Utah will hold a press conference Friday, where they are expected to appoint an independent reviewer or panel to conduct that investigation.
Read more from The Salt Lake Tribune here.