University of Utah Athlete Honored in Tearful Vigil After Murder at Hands of Ex-Boyfriend

Playing Vigil Held for Murdered 21-Year-Old University of Utah Student

There were unbridled tears as students mourned a University of Utah star athlete who was fatally shot by her enraged ex-boyfriend.

Lauren McCluskey, 21, a senior and track star at the university, was memorialized at a vigil on campus Wednesday night.   

“Lauren was always a driven athlete and gave 110 percent in everything she did," one friend eulogized Wednesday night. "The loss of her sweet spirit to our team is truly devastating."

"She was an amazing, genuine and caring person and she will be really missed," another friend said.

Her family shared a touching video of McCluskey from back when she was being recruited to colleges. In the background, Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" played.

Lauren had broken off her relationship with Melvin Rowland earlier this month after she found out he was a registered sex offender and claimed he was 20 years younger than he actually was. She reportedly complained to campus police that he was harassing her.

Cops say Rowland, 37, ambushed her Monday as she walked back to her campus apartment after a night class.

She was on the phone with her mother at the time. 

"I heard her yell, 'No, no, no!" her mom said in a statement.

Lauren's body was found in the backseat of a car on the campus.

Rowland, a parolee, killed himself in a nearby church.

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