Police pursue leads in case of slain American University professor

Montgomery County police say they found signs of a struggle at the Bethesda home of American University professor Sue Marcum, who was found dead Monday morning.
By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 26, 2010; 10:22 PM

Montgomery County detectives were pursuing leads in the case of a slain American University professor but by late Tuesday had not linked the 18-year-old found driving her stolen Jeep to her killing, officials said.

Deandrew Hamlin was seen in the sport-utility vehicle in the District late Monday, about 13 hours after the professor's body had been found in her home. Hamlin led police on a chase and was injured when the Jeep crashed.

It was unclear whether he had obtained the car at the professor's house. He was charged in the District with unauthorized use of a vehicle and felony fleeing.

Hamlin remained hospitalized Tuesday but was expected to be released by Wednesday morning, said Montgomery Assistant Police Chief Drew Tracy.

"We've got multiple people working on it," Tracy said. "What we have to do is put all these leads together, look where the forensics take us, and then make a decision from there on charging."

Police were called to Sue Ann Marcum's home in the 6200 block of Massachusetts Avenue shortly before noon Monday. Her body was found on the lower level of her redbrick home, about two miles northwest of the District. Detectives found signs that someone had broken into the home and struggled with Marcum.

Tracy said evidence indicated that at least one intruder had entered Marcum's home.

As the investigation began Monday, police issued a lookout for Marcum's Jeep Cherokee.

Shortly before midnight, the Cherokee passed one of the District's license-plate recognition sensors, which are programmed to alert police to stolen vehicles. The sensor transmitted a message to police dispatchers that the Jeep was in the area, officials said.

Officers went to Benning Road and tried to stop the Jeep, said Istmania Bonilla, a D.C. police spokeswoman.

The officers chased the Jeep, but the driver tried to get away. The Jeep crashed into a crosswalk signpost at New York Avenue and M Street NW, Bonilla said. Police identified the driver as Hamlin, of Northwest Washington.

His family could not be reached Tuesday.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company