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Family of Lauren McCluskey to take legal action against University of Utah

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Updated - Jun. 26, 2019 at 2:38 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 26, 2019 at 2:06 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a University of Utah student who was killed on campus last fall plans to file a legal complaint against the university.

Lauren McCluskey’s parents, Jill and Matt McCluskey, plan to formally announce the legal action on Thursday morning, according to an emailed statement from the family’s attorney.

The McCluskey family will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Siegfried and Jensen Law Office in Murray immediately following the filing of the complaint, the statement says.

Lauren McCluskey, 21, was killed October 22, 2018 after a confrontation with her ex-boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland. Rowland died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound later that night.

The McCluskeys’ legal action comes “as a result of the university failing to protect student and daughter Lauren McCluskey,” according to the statement. The exact nature of the complaint remains unclear as of Wednesday afternoon.

The family says in the statement that Lauren called University of Utah police over 20 times leading up to her death.

Reports from the university indicate that Rowland deceived, harassed and attempted to extort McCluskey before he killed her.

University officials said they would investigate the situation, but even after Lauren McCluskey reported Rowland's activity to the university multiple times, they determined that he didn't appear to pose a physical threat to her.

In the months since Lauren's death, Jill and Matt McCluskey have remained consistent, prominent critics of the university. The criticism prompted changes on campus, including an emphasis on background checks and streamlined communication.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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