A Utah police officer somehow managed to save some sensitive photos of a terrified college student who was being extorted by her ex-boyfriend. He saved them in his personal phone and bragged it to a co-worker just days before she was murdered.
Lauren McCluskey, 21, student of Utah University revealed in campus cops in October 2018 that she was being forced by her affinity-offender ex, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had passage to some of her personal images and was threatening to release them if she didn’t pay him $1,000.
Dismayed by the demand, McCluskey paid Rowland the amount he wanted and then sent images of his threatening messages and the photos in the subject to police as evidence.
Officer Miguel Deras then saved the concerning images of the young girl onto his phone, before showing them to at least one male colleague and bragging about being able to stare at them any time he wanted.
Shot To Death
Prior nine days filing the report, McCluskey was shot to death by Rowland on campus, who then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself. The hopeful athlete had ended the relationship a month earlier after discovering Rowland was a recorded offender who had lied about his name, age, and criminal history.
Along with her husband Matt, the McCluskey family registered a $56 million lawsuit over the police administration of the case, after a nonpartisan review found Deras did very little to investigate McCluskey’s accusations.
Deras- The Culprit
On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to entice her out of her room. Deras never transferred that information along to anyone else in the department and hours later she was shot dead.
One of Deras’ colleagues verified to campus police that he had been shown the images by Deras, with another officer confirming he had heard the conversation taking place.
The first officer told detectives in September 2019 that he had been meeting next to Deras during preparation in between shifts when Deras bent over towards him and started scrolling through the images on his phone.
Deras declined numerous questions to comment. The campus police say the officer who was shown the images has not been punished because he didn’t ask Deras to see them.
While the university confirmed that Deras had in fact saved and shared the images, the revelation only came to light when the records got accessed.