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Father of suspect in AU professor’s slaying proclaims son’s innocence

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The father of a 41-year-old yoga instructor wanted in the October fatal beating of an American University professor said his son did not commit the crime and was not even in the Washington area at the time of the killing.

Carlos Rueda of El Paso, Texas, told The Washington Times that his son, Jorge Rueda Landeros, flew into El Paso from Virginia on Sept. 15 and went on to California for an extended visit after that.

Montgomery County police said Friday they had obtained a warrant for Mr. Landeros' arrest in connection with the brutal beating death of Sue Ann Marcum. Marcum's body was found in her Bethesda home on Oct. 25.

"I don't know how he could have killed her," Mr. Rueda said.

Police say Mr. Landeros was "known to the victim" and taught her Spanish but beyond that have declined to discuss the nature of their relationship.

Montgomery County police are working in conjunction with federal and Mexican law enforcement to track down Mr. Landeros, whose father says is now living with his wife in Juarez, Mexico.

The day after Marcum's death, police arrested 18-year-old Deandrew Hamlin, who was found driving Marcum's stolen Jeep in the District.

Hamlin was the only publicly named suspect in the case when Montgomery County prosecutors dropped charges against him last month. Police maintain there were signs of forced entry to Marcum's house and that electronics and the keys to her Jeep were taken from the home.

The case was initially characterized as a burglary gone awry.

But police have declined to speak further about Hamlin or the events that they now think preceded Marcum's death.

"I don't think you can expect more to be said [about Hamlin] until Mr. Landeros is found," said Montgomery County police spokeswoman Officer Amy Daum. "The investigation is ongoing, and we need to find him so we can talk to him."

Although he is still at large, news that a warrant was issued for Mr. Landeros brought some relief to residents of the Bethesda neighborhood where Marcum lived.

"It appears to have been a targeted case rather than a random case, so that diminishes the anxiety a bit," said Harry Phofl, president of the Glen Echo Heights Civic Association. "Crime is very exceptional in our neighborhood. ... I think most of us are more conscious than we used to be of taking elementary precautions."

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