Star student athlete asked repeatedly for protection before she was murdered: Part 1

In an exclusive interview, Lauren McCluskey's parents say their daughter asked police for help numerous times regarding her ex-boyfriend before he killed her and then took his own life.
11:00 | 01/26/19

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Transcript for Star student athlete asked repeatedly for protection before she was murdered: Part 1
This is a special edition of "Nightline." The calls for help. Now reporting Amy robach. Hi, so I'm dealing with a situation where I'm being blackmailed for money. Reporter: In the last days of her life, Lauren Mccluskey was begging to be heard. I think they're trying to lure me somewhere. Do you know when an arrest would be made? Reporter: Talking with police over 20 times, crying for help with her ex-boyfriend, a seasoned manipulator who had his sights set on Lauren. At first she thought he was 28. The handsome bouncer she met at a bar. She looked really mature for a 28-year-old. Reporter: His true identity, a 37-year-old sex offender out on parole. Everyone I met or came across, I used my manipulation tactics to get what I wanted. Reporter: Now relentlessly stalking and harassing Lauren. She was the lauded college athlete, lover of music and animals. 911 because I was just concerned. Reporter: Her final moments captured on a phone call with her mother. Her father immediately calling 911. She just immediately started saying no, no, no, no. And like someone might have been grabbing her or something. Reporter: What they didn't know then, their daughter was already dead, attacked and shot multiple times. That ex-boyfriend killing the promising athlete in cold blood. So the last words you heard your daughter say? No, no, no, no. Reporter: Those three word the are forever edged in Jill Mccluskey's memories. The university of Utah now on the defensive. Reporter: Was Lauren's death preventible? Absolutely. Yes. Reporter: When you walk into her room at her home in Pullman, Washington, you see instantly the kind of things she loved and the kind of girl she was. Her talents were being recognized even before her 10th birthday. Look at these medals, quite a few of the. So she started competing nationally as a 9 year old. Reporter: Coming in here is still hard. It's nice, though, to look at the things, you know. She did a lot in her life. Lauren didn't care what you looked like. She didn't care where you came from. Sort of fearless, you know. Every parent says this, but she was a very kind, very kind person. I had noticed that she was very athletic from, from when she was an infant. Reporter: It was on the track where Lauren really shined, where she and her good friend Regina snider first became close. We really bounded through our workouts, and then like we became really great friends. One of my best friends. Reporter: Colleen Hindman first met Lauren over 15 years ago. Her dad wanted me to babysit for them. As she got older she really blossomed. Reporter: This all watched as she grew up and decided to go to college in Salt Lake City. She was a senior. Reporter: It was fall, the beginning of her last year at university. She was at a bar with friends when she met a man. He said his name was SHAWN fields. Friends grew concerned, telling housing staff that she was in an unhealthy relationship. What made me feel uncomfortable was how he would be calling every single time whenever we would be out. And she would, she would say, I have to get this. I was like, I'm not necessarily comfortable with how he's treating you. Being kind of controlling. Reporter: When did you first hear your daughter talk about this man? In September, he was very charming. He tried to sweep her off her feet. I was concerned that he was a little older than her. I didn't know his true age. Reporter: You thought he was a little older. Yeah. Reporter: But he was actually 37 years old, something 21 year old Lauren discovered when she googled him. SHAWN wasn't his real name either, it was Melvin Roland. And most horrifying of all, Roland had been convicted of forcible abuse and enticing a minor over the internet. He seemed to question whether he was rehabilitated. I know I have that capability of re-offending. Reporter: Just after four weeks of first meeting him, launch confronted him with what she learned and broke up with him. But she let him spend the night and borrow her car the next day to run errands. Reporter: So when your daughter tells you the guy I've been dating is a sex offender, what did you say? I said you're doing the right thing in breaking up with him. Reporter: The next day, she tells her mom, Roland wants her to meet him at the stadium parking lot to get the car. I'm worried that he's lying to her. And he's actually a sexual offender and lied about his age and things like that. I'd just like someone to accompany her. I will give her a call. Did you want me to give you a call back or? Yeah, if you could, that would be good. What was your name? Jill. Reporter: Campus police do call Jill. Roland has now decided to drop the car off closer to the dorm. Do you feel comfortable with that? I think it's okay. Because if it's all right with you, we're here 24/7. I'm super cool. You could come hang out here and have him drop it off here. Reporter: But Lauren calls back. I was wondering if I would get a ride to the stadium, would that be okay? Definitely, definitely, yeah, for sure. Reporter: An officer accompanies her and they successfully retrieve her car. Dispatch calls Jill back to let her know. Thank you. I feel like he has a little bit of control over her. Oh, definitely. You know, that something bad could happen. Reporter: You felt safe at that point, my daughter is in a good place in good hands. Absolutely. Reporter: But things ramp up. Two days later, Lauren calls campus police back about texts she's received. I got texts about did I want to go to a funeral, his funeral. And I think they're trying to lure me somewhere. Reporter: Campus police begins a formal investigation this day, and an officer calls her back. But the next day, Lauren's situation gets even scarier. I'm being blackmailed for money. It's a photo of my, me and my ex-, they're threatening to send it out to everyone and he's asking for $1,000. Reporter: Dispatch relace that she's being black mailed. She eventually goes down in person to the police department but she wasn't satisfied so she called police. But because she lives on campus in university jurisdiction they transfer her back to campus police. Like I called 911 because I was just concerned and I wasn't sure. Yeah. Like help speed things up. Do you now when an arrest would be made? You can talk to an officer if you want. I can arrange that if you want that. Okay. Yeah, that sounds good. Reporter: That arrest was never made. In fact, officers never even went to see Melvin Roland. And an investigation into the extortion charges didn't start until a week after Lauren reported it. The detective assigned to her case was off. Lauren told her mom she felt like she was all on her own, unprotected by those tasked with keeping her safe. One thing she did tell me, feels like I'm bothering them, because she was calling so much. And I remember telling her, it's their job to listen to you, you know, if you're complaining. But they weren't listening. No, they weren't. They weren't. They weren't taking her seriously. Reporter: And Lauren's friends reported to campus staff that Roland had talked about wanting to get Lauren a gun, but no one, including campus police yet, was that Roland was on parole, which should been an automatic red flag. They weren't sharing information with Salt Lake City police. And they never knew about Lauren's complaints, a communication gap which would prove fatal. Reporter: They missed the fact three was on parole. Lauren had no law enforcement experience and yet she was able with a laptop to find out all this information, he was a sex offender, lied about his name, his age, but the police couldn't make this leap and discover his parole status, which is public information. Those are things that should have set off red flags. You don't know necessarily that a suspect is going to commit a violent act. But you don't just leave them alone. You have to do something to make sure the act doesn't occur, in this case, prevent somebody from die being. Reporter: It's now Monday, October 22nd. I had a concern, never in my wildest dreams did I think that this individual would hang out at her dorm. Reporter: But Roland was at her dorm, seemingly lying in wait, hanging out with some of her friends. At about 8:00 P.M. That night after getting out of class on her walk home, Lauren calls mom just to chat like they often did. She was talking about class projects she was working on. It was a fantastic conversation. She was talking about next semester, too. Reporter: Planning her future. And all of a sudden she yes, ma'ams, yells, no, no, no. Reporter: Parents hundreds of miles away in spch of answers. Answers. E excited about the potential

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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