New piece of evidence found in fatal shooting of Fox Lake cop

  • George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, takes questions from the media after a news conference Friday in Fox Lake.

    George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, takes questions from the media after a news conference Friday in Fox Lake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/5/2015 6:41 PM

The commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said Friday evening a new piece of evidence has been found in the investigation of the shooting of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

George Filenko could not say what that evidence is, because of protocol.

 

But he did say, "It is a piece of the puzzle."

Filenko said a significant piece of evidence was recovered Friday by evidence technicians at the crime scene.

"Our evidence technicians are pretty tenacious," he said. "They have been out there since Day One every single day."

"They are dealing with some pretty extreme conditions," Filenko said. "It's an area that's full of tall grass and weeds, brush, trees, sticks. They have actually taken machetes, super magnets, a weed wacker. Today, they were down on their hands and knees searching."

Filenko said the new evidence is encouraging.

Earlier Friday, authorities said several new videos surfaced in the previous 24 hours that police investigators say they hope can provide views leading up to and after the time Gliniewicz was shot and killed, and shed light on the identity of his three suspected killers.

In addition, a $50,000 reward is being offered by Motorola Solutions to anyone with a tip that leads to the arrest of the unknown assailants who are the focus of the massive manhunt that stretched into its fourth day Friday.

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Filenko reiterated earlier Friday that his team of investigators is working "tirelessesly and relentlessly" to capture the suspects accused of killing the 30-year veteran police officer, who left behind a wife and four children.

Filenko said several new videos obtained from area residents, businesses, and the Lake County Division of Transportation have been turned over to the FBI. Those videos are in addition to the home security video police received Wednesday that remains in the hands of investigators with the Homeland Security Administration.

The FBI has pledged its full support in the investigation and has the technology to put all of the videos in sequential order based on their various timestamps, he said. When that's done, it could help investigators assemble a video puzzle they hope will put them closer to identifying the suspects, he said.

Now, the only description police have released of the suspects is two white males and one black male.

"We are still reviewing the substantial amount of video for any clues that could help us," Filenko said, adding "astute" transportation workers saved intersection video Tuesday after hearing Gliniewicz had been shot and killed. He said video normally recycles and erases every couple of hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Filenko also confirmed Gliniewicz's .40-caliber handgun was recovered at the murder scene. But he would not comment on whether other fingerprints or DNA was recovered from the weapon.

He also would not release other key details of Gliniewicz's death, including how many times he was shot and where, whether he was wearing a bulletproof vest, or if footprints at the scene showed where the suspects may have gone when they left the area.

Filenko said he did not know if the three suspects left the scene on foot or if they walked a short distance before entering a vehicle at another location and drove away.

The 52-year-old Gliniewicz was found with a fatal gunshot wound in a wooded and marshy area at the east end of Honing Road. He had radioed a dispatcher that he saw three men -- two white and one black -- acting suspiciously on Honing Road at 7:52 a.m., authorities said. He called back three minutes later and said he required backup because of a foot chase.

Officers found him with a gunshot wound 14 minutes later about 50 yards from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at 8:25 a.m., authorities said.

Filenko said investigators have tracked down leads from voice mail and social media from Fox Lake and in other states. For example, he said, investigators are reviewing a tip in Michigan, where three suspicious men were spotted in a vehicle that was determined to be stolen from the Chicago area.

"We are still tracking that lead down," he said.

Motorola Territory Vice President Ali Kapidia said the company decided to provide the reward because a large number of employees live in the area and have had relations with Gliniewicz in the past.

"While the loss of every first responder is a tragedy, this occurred in an area that many Motorola Solutions headquarters-area employees and their family call home," Kapidia said. "Members of my local team worked with Lt. Gliniewicz and respected his tireless leadership and commitment to enhancing public safety."

Lake County sheriff's spokesman Christopher Covelli said the FBI has established a hotline at 1-800-call-FBI for people who want to call in a tip. Tips also can be sent through an FBI website at fbi.gov/foxlake.

He said "saturation patrols" are continuing in neighborhoods to canvas the area and continue searching for suspects. He added the patrols are also in place to help people feel safe and help return the area back to normal.

"The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous," Covelli said. "The saturation patrols are in place to see if these suspects appear and to continue to work with the community to ensure they are safe in hopes things can start to get back to normal."

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