The University of Utah student killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2018 tried to get help from police multiple times before her murder—but instead, an officer showed off explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey that the 21-year-old track athlete had entrusted to the department. Two police sources tell the Salt Lake Tribune that Miguel Deras saved the photos, which McCluskey submitted as evidence along with messages threatening to release them if she didn't pay $1,000, to his phone. Days before the man who was extorting McCluskey ultimately killed her, Deras showed the images to a co-worker and bragged that he could look at them every day, the sources say.
The incident was not reported at the time, but the university now confirms it happened, after a push by the Tribune. Deras left the department last year and now works for a different police department, which has opened an internal affairs investigation in response to the article. The Tribune has been reporting on what it calls "a string of missteps" in the way McCluskey's concerns were handled by the police department, as well as others who have come forward to say that their reports of sexual crimes or domestic violence were mishandled by the campus police. Little was done to investigate McCluskey's concerns, which she first reported 10 days before her murder, and nothing was done when, on the morning of her death, she reported to police that her ex was trying to lure her out of her dorm. He committed suicide after shooting McCluskey. (Read more Lauren McCluskey stories.)