Police: Northwestern professor wanted in grisly slaying apologized in video

Wyndham Lathem (L) and Andrew Warren (R)

CBS Chicago

CHICAGO -- Investigators say a Northwestern University professor wanted in the fatal stabbing of a Chicago man apologized for his involvement the grisly crime in a video sent to family and friends, reports CBS Chicago.

A judge on Monday issued a first-degree murder warrant for 42-year-old Wyndham Lathem, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern, and 56-year-old Andrew Warren, a ‎senior treasury assistant at the University of Oxford's Somerville College in England. Both are sought in the slaying of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, 26, who was found stabbed to death in Lathem's Chicago apartment on the night of July 27. 

In a statement Friday afternoon, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Lathem "had sent a video message to various friends and family members apologizing for his involvement in the murder of Trenton Cornell," the station reports.

Guglielmi said federal marshals have visited with several of the people who received the video, and are assisting police in the search for Lathem and Warren. He said the video is not being released.

"The contents of the video message are integral to any future interrogation efforts; therefore, we can not disclose the video at this time," Guglielmi told the station.  

Police have also said the duo drove to Wisconsin after the slaying and made a $1,000 donation to a library in the dead man's name. Chicago police spokesman Frank Giancamilli says it's unclear why Lathem and Andrew made the donation. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, police Lt. Ed Grittzner says a person handed a library worker $1,000 in cash.

Police suspect he was killed several hours earlier and that the donation was made before the body was found.

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Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau

Family photo via CBS Chicago

Cornell-Duranleau, 26, moved to Chicago from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area after receiving his cosmetology license.

Guglielmi told CBS Chicago 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.

Guglielmi told CBS Chicago officers found a "very gruesome" crime scene inside, and said the victim was "savagely murdered." Guglielmi told the station the victim's genitals were mutilated. 

Surveillance video shows the two suspects leaving the building the night of the slaying, he said.

Their relationship to Cornell-Duranleau is unclear, but Lathem and the victim are listed as friends on Facebook. Former co-workers described him to CBS Chicago as a kind and energetic person, as well as a skilled hair stylist.

Police said Warren has no apparent connections to Northwestern, and it's unclear why he was in Chicago. Federal authorities have flagged the suspects' passports, and do not believe they have left the U.S., reports CBS Chicago.

Guglielmi said Thursday that investigators believe they know where Lathem and Warren are heading, but he declined to elaborate.

"The search has intensified and has narrowed," he said.