CHICAGO (CBS) — A popular Fox Lake police officer conducted a “carefully staged” suicide two months ago after engaging in “extensive criminal acts” over several years, investigators said on Wednesday.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was being investigated for stealing money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer training program. He said the amount of money taken was “thousands of dollars” for personal use over the past seven years.
Investigators believed Gliniewicz was under increasing stress, fearing that his activities were being exposed by Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin, who had begun to ask questions about how the program’s money was being used.
On Wednesday, Marrin said Gliniewicz threatened her as she began her audit of the Explorer program, which is used to train young people who may be considering a career in law enforcement.
“This episode has left us unsettled and uneasy,” Marrin said. “The community is the real victim here.”
The officer apparently used the money for travel, gym memberships, personal loans, adult websites and other personal items.
“This extensive investigation has concluded with an overwhelming amount of evidence that Gliniewicz’s death was a carefully staged suicide,” Filenko said.
Investigators believe two others were involved in the criminal activity but their identities have not been released. Multiple published reports say that Gliniewicz’s wife, Melodie, and son DJ are being questioned.
Gliniewicz, 52, was found on the morning of Sept. 1. He had radioed in a short time before that he was in pursuit of three men. The shooting led to a massive manhunt for the suspects and a drawn out probe into the death.