When Dr. David Cornbleet was found stabbed and bound his North Michigan Avenue office last October, the case seemed like one that could remain unsolved for years.
But Chicago police announced today that a combination of Internt sleuthing on myspace.com, security camera footage, DNA analysis and international police work resulted in homicide charges against a resident of St. Martin, a tiny French territory in the Carribean.
The suspect, whose name was not released, has surrendered to French authorities.
He is of French descent and is being held in Guadalupe, St. Martin, according to Gordon Snow, managing editor of The Daily Herald
, the island's largest newspaper.
"Apparently they interrogated him and he did confess to the murder," Snow said.
Because France refuses to extradite defendants who may face capital punishment, police said, it was not immediately clear when or if the suspect would be brought to Chicago.
"It's probably going to be long and drawn out," said Snow.
Cornbleet's son, Jon, said he was relieved to finally know who killed his father.
"It's very bittersweet,"said the younger Cornbleet.
He established a page on myspace.com
offering a reward for information about the case.
"That got the ball rolling," said Cook County First Assistant State's Attorney Bob Milan.
Investigators received an unspecified tip through myspace.com, and were then able to locate security camera footage
allegedly showing the suspect entering Cornbleet's office building.
Police said they matched DNA evidence left at the scene to material found at the suspect's home in New York.
The suspect, identified by America's Most Wanted as Hans Peterson, was a former patient of Cornbleet's.
Authorities obtained a warrant for his arrest in June.
Police said he may have secured French citizenship after his arrival in St. Martin.
That, said FBI agent William Monroe, means extradition "could be very
Milan said his office "will do everything in its power to bring the
suspect back to Cook County to stand trial."
The state's attorney's office will not drop
the possibility of seeking the death penalty before discussing the issue with the Cornbleet family, he said.