911 calls from Lauren McCluskey released for the first time
Three 911 calls from University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey and her father were released Friday by the Salt Lake City Police Department.
McCluskey was shot and killed on the university's campus by a former boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, who was found dead hours later inside a church.
LAUREN MCCLUSKEY REPORTS BLACKMAIL
One call by McCluskey to SLCPD reported being black mailed by Rowland. When she gave her address to the dispatcher, she was informed her case would be directed to the campus police department.
McCluskey told the dispatcher that she'd already talked to campus police and added, "I just wanted to call you as well."
The dispatcher explained in the call with McCluskey that reports are based off of where people live and asked if campus police had taken her case and given her a case number.
She replied, "No they didn't," but later clarified that she did get a case number.
McCluskey told the dispatcher she was concerned because she didn't know how long campus police would "file the arrest."
The SLCPD dispatcher than transferred her call to University 911 to discuss the case number. No further communication of that call was released by police.
Click below to hear the call dated Oct. 13, 2018.
LAUREN MCCLUSKEY EXPRESSES WORRY
The third call released by police is Lauren McCluskey expressing her concern about her case with campus police after saying she received a call from an individual claiming to know everything she had divulged to law enforcement.
She claimed campus police hadn't updated her case about extortion and that she was still being contacted.
The dispatcher inquired with Lauren as to whether she'd contacted campus police to which she replied, "Yes I have."
She was then asked what prompted her to contact Salt Lake City Police. Lauren explained that she was concerned that there may have been an insider saying the individuals contacting her knew more about her case than she did.
Lauren said it had been a week without being contacted by campus police. She was referred back to campus police to speak to the detective handling her case, or the detective's supervisor with further explanation that the case was not in the Salt Lake City Police jurisdiction.
Click below to hear the call dated October 19, 2018.
MATT MCCLUSKEY REPORTS LAUREN MISSING
A second call released by police is of Matt McCluskey reporting his daughter missing saying he wanted Salt Lake Police to know about it.
He was informed that other than being listed as a missing person on the national database that the department didn't need to be notified.
Matt McCluskey emphasized that his daughter's disappearance was more than a missing person and told the dispatcher that Lauren had been abducted while talking to her on the telephone.
He said in the call:
We heard her being assaulted. We called the University Campus Police and I'm just calling you to let you know. This just happened, like an hour ago.
The dispatcher asked Matt McCluskey if they were in a silver Buick Lancer, and when Matt didn't know about it, the dispatcher informed him that the SLCPD had been alerted about it by campus police and the SLC units were notified.
Click below to hear the call Matt McCluskey the night she was murdered.
The University of Utah released an independent review of how campus police handled Lauren McCluskey’s death.
It found officers did not know how to look up criminal background or parole information, leaving detectives without key information on Rowland but held the department harmless.
McCluskey's parents issued a response that disagreed with the handling of their daughter's case by campus police saying:
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.
Better transparency across police departments along the Wasatch front could help save lives and it could have made a huge difference in the life of Lauren McCluskey.
That’s according to Chris Bertram, retired deputy chief with Unified Police Department.
He says most of the departments don’t already do that, although there is cross-sharing of information between Salt Lake City Police and UPD.
Bertram tells us there is no benefit that he’s aware of to not sharing information, adding that linking cases would help officers across the board. It would mean they wouldn’t be starting from scratch on every case. Instead they could look information up, to see for example, if a suspect had prior arrests with other departments.
2News has transcribed all of the 911 calls, which you can read below.
Lauren McCluskey: October 13th
Lauren: Hi I've been blackmailed for money.
Lauren: Salt Lake City.
Dispatch: Are you up on campus?
Lauren: I’m up on campus.
Dispatch: Do you live on campus?
Lauren: Up on campus.
Dispatch: Let me go ahead and get you over, University of Utah police will probably take that, just one sec.
Lauren: I've talked to them already i just wanted to call you as well.
Dispatch: Usually if you already reported it you just take it where you live and then that agency does a case cause if they make threats the most likely they’ll come is at your house.
Dispatch: You'd normally have to make multiple reports - did they tell you to call us or did you give you a case number?
Lauren: No they didn't.
Dispatch: But you already did talk to them and tell them about it?
Lauren: Yeah i was just concerned cause I wasn't sure how long they were going to take.
Dispatch: They didn’t give you a case number at all.
Lauren: I think they did hold on.
Dispatch: You want to talk to them more and see what is kinda going on with your case?
Lauren: Wait a minute.
Lauren: I think this this is a case number.
Dispatch: Let me get you up to them so they can see what is going on with it?
Dispatch: University 911 what is your emergency?
University Dispatch: Hey, it’s Cindy. She’s got a case number pending and is receiving additional blackmail threats.
Dispatch: She’s on the line.
Lauren McCluskey: October 19th.
Lauren: Hi, i’m just i’m worried because i have been working with the campus police at the U and last Saturday I reported and I haven’t gotten an update but someone contacted me today. Someone who is harassing me said that they know everything about the police.
Dispatch: Okay, so you already spoke to campus police did this happen on the University of Utah campus?
Lauren: Yes...yes they haven’t updated or done anything so the case it involved...extortion and those people are still...me.
Dispatch: Have you notified the campus police about this?
Lauren: Yes i have.
Dispatch: What prompted you to call Salt Lake City police?
Lauren: Well, I thought it was weird that there are people who know about the entire case and the harasser seems to know about it more than me, and I’m concerned it might be an insider who’s letting them know about the case.
Lauren: I haven’t gotten an update and it has been a week.
Dispatch: With something like that you would need to contact the campus police back and ask to speak to your detective. If you’re concerned, you could ask for the detective supervisor. Since it’s another agency’s area, the Salt Lake police wouldn’t be involved.
Lauren: Oh, okay.
Dispatch: And make sure you tell them what you told me that this is getting through to you from the suspect in your case.
Lauren: Okay, so the detective you said is who I should contact?
Dispatch: Right, call the dispatch back and ask to speak to your detective.
Lauren: Okay sounds good thank you.
Dispatch: And then if anything happens, or if you see them when you’re like out and about in Salt Lake City proper not on U of U property for something like that we would be the best people to call. Does that make sense?
Matt McCluskey: October 22nd
Matt: My name is Matt McCluskey my daughter is Lauren McCluskey and she went missing tonight and we reported it to the University of Utah police. She is a student there and I just want to make sure you guys know about that.
Dispatch: We wouldn't really need to, other than her being listed she would be listed as a missing person on the national database if you made a missing persons report but otherwise
Matt: This is, this is no no this is more than that she was abducted while we were talking to her on the telephone. We heard her being assaulted and we called the University of Utah campus police and I'm calling you to let you know that this just happened like an hour ago.
Dispatch: Were they in a Buick Lancer?
Dispatch: They were in that silver Buick Lancer?
Matt: I don't know anything about a silver Buick Lancer.
Dispatch: U university let us know about it and we had our we notified them as well.