A Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford employee wanted in the brutal stabbing death of a Chicago man were arrested in California on Friday and will be returned to Chicago for interrogation, federal and local authorities said Friday. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wyndham Lathem, 42, and Andrew Warren, 56, were arrested without incident and were in custody in Oakland, California.
Lathem, an associate microbiology professor at Northwestern, surrendered at the federal courthouse in Oakland, according to the Chicago Tribune, which quoted U.S. Marshals Service supervisory inspector Ed Farrell. Warren, a resident at Somerville College, a part of the Oxford University Network, was arrested in San Francisco, Farrell said. Chicago police said the two would go before an Oakland court and then be returned to Chicago, where they would be interrogated by homicide detectives. Police did not say when that would happen.
A manhunt had been underway since first-degree murder warrants were issued for the two men shortly after the body of 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau was found on July 27 riddled with stab wounds in the Chicago apartment where Lathem lived. “Both individuals will be held accountable for their actions and we hope today’s arrest brings some comfort for the victim’s family,” a Chicago police statement said.
Police said earlier on Friday that Lathem had sent a video to friends and relatives apologizing for his involvement in the crime, which he called the “biggest mistake of my life.” The video raised concern among investigators that Lathem might kill himself. “We are also thankful both men are safely in custody and this did not end in further tragedy,” the police statement said.
Warren had arrived in the United States three days before the death of Cornell-Duranleau and was seen in surveillance video leaving the building with Lathem the day of the stabbing. Police had released few details of the investigation. But they also said on Friday that on the day of the slaying – but before the body was discovered – Lathem and Warren drove about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where one of them made a $1,000 cash donation to the public library there in Cornell-Duranleau’s name. Lake Geneva police said the man making the donation did not give his name.
“I’ve never seen where suspects in a homicide would make a donation in the victim’s name,” said Lake Geneva police Lt. Edward Gritzner.
Police said Lathem had a personal relationship with Cornell-Duranleau, who moved to Chicago from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area after receiving his cosmetology license. They said they were still trying to determine how Cornell-Duranleau or Lathem knew Warren, or if Warren knew them before he flew to the United States before the stabbing.
They have said that on the night of the slaying the front desk of the high-rise building where Lathem lives in Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood received an anonymous call from a person who said that a crime had been committed in Lathem’s 10th floor apartment. When police opened the door they found Cornell-Duranleau’s body. He had been stabbed several times in an attack so brutal that police said the knife broke.
Police also said that by the time they found the body on the night of July 27, Cornell-Duranleau had been dead for 12-15 hours.