Police: Fox Lake Officer’s Death a “Carefully Staged Suicide”

Police in Fox Lake, Illinois say one of their officers, originally believed to have been murdered, actually killed himself. 

The announcement came Thursday after a two-month investigation into Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Gliniewicz’s death. 

Police say Gliniewicz died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on September 1. 

Early that morning, Gliniewicz radioed dispatchers to say he was pursuing three suspicious men on foot. 

Dispatchers lost contact with him, and responding officers found him dead with his weapon nearby.  

Gliniewicz’s death triggered a massive manhunt and investigation, costing upwards of $300,000. 

The coroner, at the time, couldn’t rule out a homicide, suicide or accident. 

Authorities now say that Gliniewicz carefully staged his own death after committing criminal acts. 

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said that the officer elaborately staged a crime scene, scattering his pepper spray, baton and other equipment before shooting himself.  Gliniewicz had experience staging mock crime scenes for police explorer training. 

It was revealed that Gliniewicz was stealing and laundering money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer’s Club, which he oversaw. 

Police say he spent thousands of dollars of that money to pay for personal purchases, mortgage payments and travel. 

Filenko said the Village of Fox Lake was conducting an internal audit that Gliniewicz believed would eventually lead to him. 

According to police, the investigation is still ongoing as they believe two others may have been involved in the embezzlement scheme. 

“Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed,” said Filenko. 

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