By The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man suspected of shooting and killing a University of Utah student was found dead early Tuesday, according to a broadcast report.
Police tracked down the man, identified as Melvin Rowland, who authorities say shot Lauren McCluskey outside a dormitory on campus just before 10 p.m. Monday.
This undated photo provided by the Utah Department of Corrections shows Melvin Rowland. Authorities say that Rowland, suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend, University of Utah student-athlete Lauren McCluskey, was found dead in an off-campus church early Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (Utah Department of Corrections via AP)
Police followed Rowland into a church after he was spotted near 600 South 200 East in Salt Lake City at about 1 a.m., University of Utah Police Lt. Brian Wahlin told KUTV.
Wahlin said Rowland’s body was found in the church.
The University of Utah also tweeted that Rowland had been located and was “no longer a threat.”
Lauren McCluskey ‘s body was found in a car near the medical towers, Wahlin said earlier.
The suspect and the McCluskey had “a previous relationship,” he said.
In this Aug. 30, 2017 photo, provided by the University of Utah, shows Lauren McCluskey, a member of the University of Utah cross country and track and field team, runs in Salt Lake City. McCluskey, a University of Utah student was shot and killed on campus by a former boyfriend Melvin Rowland, who was found dead hours later inside a church Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, authorities said. (Steve C. Wilson/University of Utah via AP)
Records show Rowland was a registered sex offender who spent nearly a decade in prison after pleading guilty to trying to lure an underage girl online.
Former prosecutor Paul Amann said Tuesday that 37-year-old Melvin Rowland was caught in an online sex crimes sting when a police officer posed as a 13-year-old girl, and after he was charged a woman reported he had sexually assaulted her after another online meeting.
Records show Rowland was released from prison in 2013 after spending nine years behind bars.
Police say he shot and killed 21-year-old student Lauren McCluskey late Monday. Her mother says she dumped him when she learned about his criminal history.
About 11:40 p.m., the university said it lifted the lockdown of the campus.
“It was really scary to look out the window and see. I saw 15 to 20 police officers right where we’re standing right now,” Tyler Olsen, a student who lives in family housing near the shooting scene, told the Deseret News. “I mean, you’re in your home, but nowhere feels safe in that moment.”
Last month, an ex-convict pleaded guilty to killing a University of Utah student from China using a gun stolen after another slaying. Austin Boutain, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He and his wife were charged with hatching a carjacking plot that led to the October 2017 death of Chenwei Guo, whose parents live in Beijing and were devastated over the death of their only son at age 23.