Salt Lake City police released the 911 calls from a University of Utah student before her ex-boyfriend allegedly killed her, it was reported on Dec. 21.
Lauren McCluskey, 21, was shot and killed on the university’s campus by her former boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, who was found dead in a church hours later, KUTV reported.
In a call from McCluskey to a 911 dispatcher, she said she was blackmailed by Rowland. “Hi, I have been blackmailed for, for money with threats of sending out,” she said in the call, Fox13 reported. Police redacted a portion of the audio where she describes threats made by her former boyfriend.
A dispatcher then told her to contact the University of Utah police.
McCluskey then told the dispatcher, “I’ve talked to them already, but I just wanted to call you as well.” She later added: “I was just concerned because I wasn’t sure how long they were going to take to file the arrest.”
About a week after the call was made on Oct. 19, McCluskey spoke to police again, sounding more worried. “Last Saturday I reported, and then, I haven’t gotten an update,” McCluskey told the dispatcher.
McCluskey was asked by a dispatcher if she’s in contact with police at the University of Utah, according to the Fox affiliate report, but she then expresses frustration with the police.
“They haven’t updated or done anything. So the case, it involves extortion,” McCluskey said. “I haven’t gotten updates and it’s been a week.”
The final audio released by police was from Matt McCluskey, Lauren’s father, on Oct. 22, when she went missing.
“My daughter is Lauren McCluskey and she went missing tonight,” McCluskey said in the 911 call. “She was abducted while we were talking to her on the telephone. So we heard her being assaulted and we called the University of Utah campus police.”
He added: “I’m just calling you to let you know. This just happened, like an hour ago,” reported KUTV. A dispatcher told him that they are aware of the incident.
McCluskey’s parents issued a statement on how the police handled their daughter’s case.
“We respectfully disagree with the conclusion that Lauren’s murder could not have been prevented. There were numerous opportunities to protect her during the almost two weeks between the time when our daughter began expressing repeated, elevating, and persistent concerns about her situation and the time of her murder,” they said, KUTV reported.
According to previous reports, officials believe the man who shot her was Rowland, a 37-year-old convicted sex offender. They explained how Rowland had stalked her for days and socialized with some of McCluskey’s friends hours before the shooting.
“He was very, very good at getting people to trust him,” University Police Chief Dale Brophy said of Rowland. “Lauren was no different.”