Investigators may have a new suspect in the murder of American University professor Sue Ellen Marcum.
An international warrant has been issued for the arrest of 41-year-old Jorge Rueda Landeros in connection with the murder, said Capt. Dave Gillespie of the Montgomery County police. He is wanted for one count of first-degree murder, Gillespie said.
Landeros is maintaining his innocence. Authorities believe he's currently in Mexico. The 41-year-old holds dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship.
Marcum, 52, was killed in her Bethesda home in October. There were signs of forced entry and a struggle at the scene, police said, and some items and her vehicle were missing.
D.C. police spotted Marcum's missing SUV soon after her body was discovered, with 18-year-old Deandrew Hamlin behind the wheel, according to charging documents.
Hamlin attempted to elude a traffic stop, leading officers on a 10-minute high-speed chase across the city, police said. He was later indicted for unlawfully using Marcum's jeep but not charged in connection with her killing.
According to Gillespie and police sources, detectives knew of Landeros not long after the October 25th crime. Their focus shifted to Hamlin after he was arrested.Montgomery County Police Capt. Dave Gillespie confirms the arrest warrant. (Photo: Brad Bell)
"We had to take a look a broad realm and broad scope of various things that were occurring during that time frame. Also, following up on the arrest of Deandrew Hamlin, who was in Ms. Marcum's vehicle 13 hours after this crime was reported, we had to work through some things," Gillespie said.
Over the months that followed, the case against Landeros built slowly as it became clear the teen was not involved in the murder.
The medical examiner has officially ruled Marcum's death a homicide, determining she died from asphyxiation and blunt force trauma.
Police do not reveal the nature of Marcum's relationship with Landeros. They believe the man is hiding out in Mexico and is aware he is wanted. According to published accounts, Landeros has written to acquaintances professing his innocence in online postings.
Neighbors in the Marcum's Mohican Hills neighborhood say they're relieved to know police believe this was not a random crime. "That makes me feel better that people aren't searching us out in this neighborhood," Marcia Aly said.