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28 Oct 2020, Edition - 1933, Wednesday

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Police hunt Oxford University worker and US professor over Chicago murder

guardian.com

Andrew Warren and Wyndham Lathem suspected of murder after Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was found stabbed to death

An Oxford University employee and a US professor are being hunted by police on suspicion of murdering a 26-year-old man in Chicago.

Arrest warrants for Andrew Warren, who works at Oxford’s Somerville College, and Wyndham Lathem, a microbiology professor at Northwestern University, were issued on Monday.

Chicago police have said they are suspected of involvement in the death of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in Lathem’s apartment on 27 July.

A judge in nearby Cook county issued the arrest warrant for Warren, 56, and Lathem, 42, after police said they were wanted for first-degree murder.

Officers say the victim, who lived in Chicago, was found with multiple stab wounds in the 10th-floor apartment near the city centre at around 8.30pm. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have not released a possible motive or said how they had linked the suspects to the killing, but Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman, said security camera footage showed the pair leaving the building that night.

Guglielmi said Lathem and Cornell-Duranleau knew each other. He said investigators had determined that Warren, who lives in England, came to the US recently for the first time, but it was not clear if Warren knew the victim.

Officers went to the apartment last Thursday night after a person working at the building’s front desk called to report that he had received an anonymous call about a crime having been committed in that unit.

Residents were told by the building’s managers that police were investigating “a variety of motives including a possible domestic incident”, according to the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Warren is a senior treasury assistant at Somerville College, where he is in charge of payroll and pensions, according to a college web page that has since been deleted.

Cornell-Duranleau, originally from Corunna, Michigan, used to work as a hair stylist, his Facebook profile states. Lathem is friends with the victim on Facebook but their relationship is not clear.

According to the Chicago Tribune, an Oxford University statement said it was “not aware of this case, which is clearly extremely concerning”.

It added: “We will liaise with the relevant investigating authorities and provide any assistance that is required.”

Warren, who goes by the name Andy, previously worked as a driver and cashier for Stagecoach and lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, according to his Facebook profile.

Lathem has worked at Northwestern University since 2007 and specialises in the bacteria that caused the bubonic plague.

Alan Cubbage, a Northwestern vice-president, said Lathem had been banned from the campus and placed on administrative leave. Cubbage added: “This is now a criminal matter under investigation by the appropriate authorities, and Northwestern University is co-operating in that investigation.”

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