Wyndham Lathem, Ex-Washington University Scientist, Wanted in Chicago Killing

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Ex-Washington University researcher Wyndham Lathem is wanted for murder. - IMAGES VIA CHICAGO POLICE/LINKEDIN
  • Images via Chicago Police/LinkedIn
  • Ex-Washington University researcher Wyndham Lathem is wanted for murder.
A former Washington University researcher is the subject of a national manhunt following the killing of a man in Chicago.

Microbiologist Wyndham Lathem, 42, is wanted for the stabbing death of a 26-year-old at Lathem's Chicago apartment, authorities say. Another man, this one an employee of Oxford University in the United Kingdom, is also wanted.

Lathem, an expert on the bubonic plague, or "Black Death," completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Wash U in 2007. He moved on shortly after to Northwestern University, where he was an associate professor, but he never sold his house in the 3900 block of Humphrey Street in the Tower Grove South neighborhood.

Authorities say he was living in a high-rise in the tony River North section of Chicago, where police officers responded at 8:30 p.m. on July 27 after receiving a tip, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. In Lathem's apartment, police found the body of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a licensed cosmetologist. The two apparently lived together, a police spokesman told the Sun-Times.


Cornell-Duranleau had been stabbed "multiple times," according to arrest warrants issued for Lathem and 56-year-old Andrew Warren, an employee of Oxford University. Warren's connection wasn't immediately clear.

Investigators believe Lathem and Warren have fled the state and should be considered "armed and dangerous."

No one answered the door on Thursday at the professor's St. Louis home. A stack of mail was piled just inside the door below a slot, and a letter carrier said the house seemed to be vacant.

A Chicago police spokeswoman said she thought detectives would be "checking everything" but couldn't confirm what role, if any, St. Louis would play in the manhunt. A St. Louis County police spokesman also said he couldn't confirm whether the department had been contacted about the case. City police and the FBI in St. Louis referred questions to Chicago police.

Wyndham Lathem's house in south St. Louis appears vacant. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • Photo by Doyle Murphy
  • Wyndham Lathem's house in south St. Louis appears vacant.
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