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National Manhunt On For Northwestern Professor Wanted In High-Rise Murder

By  Kelly Bauer and Erica Demarest | August 3, 2017 8:59am 

 Police are searching for Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andy Warren in the murder of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau.
Police are searching for Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andy Warren in the murder of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee; Chicago Police

CHICAGO — A national manhunt is underway for a Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford employee who are wanted in a River North murder and on the lam.

Microbiology professor Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren, an employee of the British university, were named in first-degree murder warrants that allege the men "without lawful justification and with the intent to kill" stabbed Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau "multiple times."

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi posted on Twitter that the men should "do the right thing" and turn themselves in.

"We're strongly encouraging them at this point. A national alert has been put out," Guglielmi said. "We're strongly encouraging them to just turn themselves in.

"We want to facilitate a safe surrender."

 Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau
Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau
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Guglielmi said the men are thought to have fled Illinois, as first reported in the Sun-Times. The U.S. Marshals Service is helping search for them, and the State Department has flagged their passports.

The slaying of 26-year-old Cornell-Duranleau happened July 27 in Lathem's 10th-floor apartment at the Grand Plaza, 540 N. State Street, authorities allege. Cornell-Duranleau was found stabbed about 8:30 p.m. that evening and was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Cornell-Duranleau's death a homicide. He lived in the 2200 block of South Wood Street in Chicago.

In an email to residents Monday, Grand Plaza management wrote that the Police Department was investigating the death as a homicide.

"Police are currently working on the timeline and background of the victim and are exploring a variety of motives, including a possible domestic incident," the email read.

According to Northwestern University spokesman Alan Cubbage, Lathem is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology who has worked for Northwestern since 2007. He has been placed on administrative leave and barred from entering school property, Cubbage said, noting that the school is cooperating with police.

"There is no indication of any risk to the Northwestern community from this individual at this time," Cubbage said in a statement.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Lathem researches the ways in which pathogenic bacteria cause disease in humans. He focuses on "host-pathogen interaction" in lung infections.

Warren is a senior treasury assistant at the University of Oxford in Great Britain, according to the school's website. Court documents place his home address in Oxford, England.

“We have been in contact with the police in the UK and are ready to help the U.S. investigating authorities in any way they need," a spokesman from the University of Oxford and Somerville College said. "Andrew Warren’s colleagues at Somerville College have now all been informed and are shocked to learn of the case. Whatever the circumstances, we would urge him to contact the U.S. authorities as soon as possible, in the best interests of everyone concerned.”

Cornell-Duranleau, a native of Corunna, Mich., had jobs as a hair stylist after earning his cosmetology license at Stanley Harris School of Cosmetology in Holland, Mich., according to an obituary posted by his family.

"Throughout his life, he loved music and animals," the obituary read. "His enthusiasm for life was infectious. Trenton was a caregiver and loved to help others. His youthful free spirit fueled his love of cars, video games and cartoons."

Three images of Northwestern associate professor Wyndham Lathem, wanted for murder. [LinkedIn; Chicago Police; Northwestern University]