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Salt Lake City, UT — An aspiring young college student in salt Lake City is dead after a system that ostensibly protects her — chose to ignore her instead. Lauren McCluskey was murdered by a deranged stalker despite multiple calls to 911 to report him.

McCluskey, 21, met 37-year-old Melvin Rowland in a campus bar in September of this year and dated him for about a month. McCluskey called off the relationship after finding out that Rowland had lied to her about his age and learning that he had a criminal past.

Rowland was a convicted sex offender who would go on to clearly violate his terms of release by stalking and even extorting McCluskey but police chose not to act. Instead, they continuously passed the buck.

Again, McCluskey chose to call 911 to reach the Salt Lake City Police Department on Octorber 19 after she’d been dealing with the University of Utah campus police unsuccessfully for days.

“I’m worried because I’ve been working with the campus police at the U, and last Saturday I reported and I haven’t gotten an update,” she told Salt Lake City Police dispatch.

“They haven’t updated or done anything,” she added, according to the 911 transcripts.

The SLC police would act in a similar manner to the campus police and they too, did nothing. Instead they referred her back to the campus police, claiming that this situation was under their jurisdiction.

After ending their relationship on October 9, McCluskey tried for nearly two weeks to get the police to help her. She informed both the campus police and the SLC police — on multiple occasions — that she was being harassed by a convicted sex offender as well as being extorted.

McCluskey told police that Rowland forced her to pay him $ 1,000 or he would release compromising photos of her. This activity was ignored.

“I’ve contacted them already, I just wanted to talk to you as well,” McCluskey said. “Yeah, I was just concerned because I wasn’t sure how long they were gonna take.”

Sadly, they would never act, and on Oct 22, McCluskey was murdered by Rowland. Her multiple 911 calls to police fell on deaf ears and her entirely preventable murder allowed to happen thanks to incredible police incompetence.

Now, an independent review of her case has her parents in disagreement and exposes the severe flaws in the system. But of course, the university is claiming that it was no one’s fault.

“The review team’s report identified gaps in training, awareness and enforcement of certain policies rather than lapses in individual performance,” the university said.

“No UUPS patrol officers interviewed were familiar with the process for obtaining online ‘Corrections Custody Information,’ in addition to general criminal background information,” the report read.

This is in spite of the fact that police officers routinely pull up criminal records of individuals during traffic stops. In fact, a simple Google search of Rowland shows his criminal past and we can easily see how he’s spent 10 years in prison for rape and enticing a minor.

“You can Google him, and his sexual offender registry status comes up,” said Greg Rogers, a retired FBI agent who was not involved with the review. “I don’t understand how his parole status didn’t come up on a criminal search.”

According to KUTV, the review said a dispatcher “ran a criminal history check on Rowland using his driver’s license information.” That should have provided an alert of his parole status but did not because the system had a number for an old identity card, not his license, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

According to a report by CNN, audio from McCluskey’s 911 calls to Salt Lake City Police show that she was increasingly frustrated by the pace of the university investigation. She first called Salt Lake City Police on October 13 to say that she had been blackmailed for money, and the dispatcher advised her to talk to University of Utah police.

“I’ve contacted them already, I just wanted to talk to you as well,” McCluskey said. “Yeah, I was just concerned because I wasn’t sure how long they were gonna take.”

They took too long and McCluskey would be killed.

Despite the independent review finding no fault on either of the departments’ behalves, Jill and Matthew McCluskey, Lauren’s parents, disagree.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusion that Lauren’s murder could not have been prevented,” the parents wrote. “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.”

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