A new report claims that a former University of Utah police officer had allegedly bragged about having explicit photos on his personal cell phone of missing student Lauren McCluskey in 2018 before she was found dead. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that campus cop Miguel Deras bragged to his co-workers about having the images and showed at least one of them to another officer, according to two unidentified fellow officers who spoke to the newspaper.
The 2018 killing of McCluskey gained national attention after it was revealed that the victim went to the school’s police over 20 times because she was being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend Melvin Rowland over explicit photos she had taken of herself. Several days later, Rowland killed her and then took his own life.
The victim’s family spoke at a news conference Monday through a video call from their attorney's office.
“We are saddened that an officer at the University of Utah campus police did not take our daughter, Lauren’s reports seriously that a man was extorting and stalking her. [She] expected Officer Miguel Deras to arrest this man when she provided evidence against him. It would have been straightforward to detain him, since he was a felon on parole,” said McCluskey’s mother, Jill.
The University police department claims that they have no physical evidence of Deras’ alleged misconduct, nor did anyone report the incident at the time. Following the Tribune's reporting, the University police department said it will conduct an investigation into the matter.
Deras now works for the Logan Police Department in Logan, Utah. The Logan Police Department told InsideEdition.com they are currently reviewing the allegations and posted a full statement on their Facebook page.
Gary Jensen, the Logan Chief of Police, told InsideEdition.com that Deras has “declined to comment” on the case and will not speak to media.