The Latest: Sex offender lurked for days before Utah killing

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of a University of Utah track athlete (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

Utah authorities say a sex offender parolee who killed a University of Utah student had been lurking on campus for days trying to confront the woman who had broken up with him weeks earlier when she discovered his criminal background.

University police chief Dale Brophy said Thursday that Melvin Rowland spent the hours before the fatal shooting Monday in victim Lauren McCluskey’s dorm building socializing with her friends.

Brophy says Rowland confronted the 21-year-old McCluskey in the parking lot, dragged her into a car and shot her multiple times in the back seat.

Brophy says Rowland was picked up on campus after the shooting by a woman he met online.

They went to dinner, visited the state Capitol and went to her apartment. Later that night. after she dropped him off, police tracked Rowland into a church where he killed himself.

Brophy says McCluskey had filed a complaint with campus police weeks earlier alleging that Rowland had demanded money in exchange for not posting compromising pictures of the couple online.

Brophy called Rowland a master manipulator.


11 a.m.

Utah corrections and parole officials have launched investigations about the release of a sex offender who killed a University of Utah student after they briefly dated.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday during his monthly televised news conference at KUED-TV that action will be taken if the reviews by the corrections department and board of pardons and parole determine mistakes were made.

Authorities say 37-year-old Melvin Rowland fatally shot 21-year-old Lauren McCluskey on campus Monday and later killed himself.

Campus police had been investigating a harassment complaint filed against Rowland by McCluskey before she was killed.

Kaitlin Felsted, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Corrections, said police didn’t make parole officers aware of the complaint.

Rowland was paroled in April after telling the parole board that he was a changed man after being a peer leader in prison had helped him tap into his empathy and learn to follow the rules.

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