DNA found, but no one in custody in death of Fox Lake officer
The video evidence Lake County authorities had hoped would help them find the three men suspected of killing Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a bust, but officials are pursuing DNA they say was discovered at the murder scene.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said during a news briefing Tuesday that evidence technicians recovered a piece of touch DNA that he had termed "significant" in the hours after it was collected last week. He would not say what the item was, only that the DNA strand did not belong to Gliniewicz.
He said the evidence has been sent to the crime lab for study. The only way to get a confirmed match is if the donor of the DNA is in a nationwide DNA database, he said.
As for the video evidence authorities were examining, Filenko said three people who fit the description Gliniewicz reported to a dispatcher before he was killed Sept. 1 have been questioned and released. He said the trio was spotted on surveillance tape in the vicinity of the murder east of Honing Road, but all of them had evidence -- timestamped receipts -- showing they went to a different location.
"We have located them and interviewed them, and it was confirmed they were not involved in this," he said.
Filenko said technicians returned at the murder scene Tuesday to look for more evidence.
The 52-year-old Gliniewicz 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 after the three ran into a swampy area near an old cement factory.
Officers found Gliniewicz with a gunshot wound 14 minutes later, about 50 yards from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at 8:25 a.m., authorities said.
Gliniewicz did not have dashboard camera video in the police cruiser he was using that day, Filenko said.
Filenko previously confirmed Gliniewicz's .40-caliber handgun was recovered at the murder scene, but he has refused to comment on any evidence recovered with the weapon. He again declined to say whether Gliniewicz was killed with his own gun, how many shots were fired, and where he was hit. He also refused to discuss details about whether other fingerprints or DNA were recovered from the weapon and where it was found.
Filenko said he is withholding that information not out of "a reluctance to do so or because of a cloak of secrecy," but rather because of any future prosecution the offenders would face when they are arrested and charged.
He said the task force and federal investigators have interviewed more than 50 people and tracked down about 185 leads through interviews, phone calls or social media during the investigation.
Lake County sheriff's detective Christopher Covelli said 4,000 police officers and 1,600 emergency service vehicles were at Gliniewicz's funeral and honor procession Monday. Thousands of other supporters lined the funeral route along routes 83 and 173, and Rollins Road, he said.
"We laid a true American hero to rest on Monday," Covelli said. "The tribute to him was nothing short of amazing."
Covelli also shot down a rumor that Filenko was being removed from the case after Fox Lake appointed a new interim chief last weekend.
Officials did not say when the next news conference would be held.
Motorola Solutions has offered a reward of $50,000 to anyone who turns in evidence that leads to the arrest of the three suspects.
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.