Jill McCluskey’s phone chat with her 21-year-old daughter, Lauren, on Monday night ended abruptly with a terrifying cry of alarm, McCluskey wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
“Suddenly, I heard her yell, ‘No, no, no’!” her mother wrote. “I thought she might have been in a car accident. That was the last I heard from her.”
Melvin Rowland, 37, shot and killed Lauren McCluskey at the University of Utah, then killed himself inside a Salt Lake City church as police closed in, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Rowland and McCluskey had apparently argued just before the 9 p.m. slaying, according to the publication. Students reported hearing a fight followed by gunshots.
“I kept the line open and in a few minutes, a young woman picked up the phone and said all of Lauren’s things were on the ground,” Jill McCluskey wrote on Twitter.
Her body was found inside a car, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Her mother wrote on Twitter that Lauren McCluskey had been returning to her university apartment from a night class.
Rowland had lied about his name, age and criminal history to Lauren McCluskey, who broke off their one-month relationship after a friend told her of his past, Jill McCluskey wrote.
Rowland, a registered sex offender who had been convicted of attempted forcible sex abuse and enticing a minor over the Internet in 2004, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Tuesday morning in a pastor’s study at Trinity AME Church, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
McCluskey, a communications major at the University of Utah, also was a college track athlete, reported ABC News.
“The Pac-12 Conference joins the University of Utah and our entire conference community in mourning the loss of Lauren McCluskey, and expressing our deepest condolences to her family,” read a statement from the Pac-12, reported the network. “Lauren was an accomplished and exceptional young woman and student-athlete, and our thoughts are with the University of Utah community and all those who were touched by Lauren as we grieve this tragic loss.”
Classes were canceled Tuesday at the university and counselors are available, the University of Utah announced on Twitter.