CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police said they have an idea on the whereabouts of a Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford employee suspected of killing a 26-year-old man last week, and a manhunt is intensifying.
Police obtained first-degree murder warrants this week for 42-year-old Wyndham Lathem and 56-year-old Andrew Warren in the stabbing death of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau at Lathem’s apartment in the 500 block of North State Street on July 27.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers were called to the scene to conduct a well-being check after an anonymous caller reported a possible crime in the professor’s 10th floor apartment. According to Guglielmi, officers found a “very gruesome” crime scene inside, adding the victim was “savagely murdered.”
DNA evidence was collected at the scene.
Lathem is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern, and Warren is a senior treasury assistant at Somerville College, a part of the University of Oxford in Great Britain.
Their relationship to Cornell-Duranleau is unclear, but Lathem and the victim are listed as friends on Facebook. Police said Warren has no apparent connections to Northwestern, and it’s unclear why he was in Chicago.
Chicago police confirmed they believe Lathem and Warren have left the Chicago area, but Guglielmi said “we have an idea of their whereabouts.”
Cornell-Duranleau’s family has asked for privacy as they grieve and pray for justice. Former co-workers described him as a kind and energetic person, as well as a skilled hair stylist.
Meantime, Lathem’s neighbors have been on edge since learning of the murder in their building.
“I have the last few days just made sure they’re locked, that our doors are secure, that our balconies are locked. Not that I think anything would happen, but you just never know. It’s scary,” Devon Eastman said.
Chicago police sought assistance from federal authorities early in the investigation, after learning Lathem and Warren might have fled the Chicago area. Authorities have restricted Lathem’s passport and Warren’s travel visa, according to Guglielmi. Police said federal authorities were contacted the day of the murder, and the suspects’ passports were flagged quickly, so investigators believe they are still in the U.S.
“Developing from overnight, we do have an idea of their whereabouts and efforts to locate them are only intensifying from here on in,” he said in an email.
Police urged Lathem and Warren to turn themselves in.
“Our primary focus is to facilitate a safe surrender and we strongly encourage Professor Lathem and Mr. Warren to do the right thing and turn themselves into any police department in the US or contact CPD and we will make any necessary accommodations,” Guglielmi said.
Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said Lathem has been placed on administrative leave and banned from entering Northwestern campuses.
Management at Lathem’s building sent a letter to other residents, assuring them they don’t need to worry about security. The same letter suggests the murder could have been a domestic incident.
According to an alert broadcast to officers on police radios, Warren and Lathem are considered armed and dangerous, and police are urged to “use extreme caution” if they are located. According to police, the two were last seen driving a rented gray 2017 Hyundai sedan.