Source: Investigators to call Gliniewicz's death a suicide

  • Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

    Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz courtesy OF Fox Lake police department

 
 
Updated 11/4/2015 4:55 AM

Law enforcement officials will announce Wednesday the shooting death of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a suicide, a source confirmed.

The source wished to remain anonymous. Officials with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, which has been investigating the fatal shooting for the past two months, are not confirming the information themselves, task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said Tuesday.

 

Lake County authorities will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. to reveal "significant new information" about Gliniewicz's death, they said earlier. The news conference will be at the Round Lake Beach Civic Center, near the corner of Mallard Creek Drive and Hook Drive in Round Lake Beach.

Gliniewicz, 52, was found dead in a marshy area Sept. 1 after radioing a dispatcher that he saw three men -- two white and one black -- acting suspiciously at 7:52 a.m., authorities said.

He called back three minutes later and said the men ran into a swampy area and that he was in a foot chase and needed backup.

Officers found Gliniewicz shot 14 minutes later, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at 8:25 a.m.

Police have since said Gliniewicz was shot twice with his own gun, once in his bulletproof vest and a second time in the chest, over his police vest.

Task force Cmdr. George Filenko said last month there were signs of a struggle near where Gliniewicz was found shot more than 50 yards from where his police vehicle was parked. But gunshot residue tests performed were inconclusive, said Filenko, who explained the tests did not specifically show whether Gliniewicz was shot by someone near him or whether he pulled the trigger of the gun himself.

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Officials also said he was out of his car and on foot patrol for 20 minutes on Honing Road before his death.

However, very few additional details have been released about the case in the two months since Gliniewicz was found dead. The lack of information has led to speculation that the death of Gliniewicz could have been a suicide or accidental in nature.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd told media outlets in September that Gliniewicz died because of a single "devastating" gunshot wound. He refused to say where the shot was or whether the veteran officer was hit with other shots, but he later told other media outlets Gliniewicz was shot in the torso.

Rudd also said at the time he hadn't issued a final report on the manner of death -- homicide, suicide or accident -- because he hasn't received a final report on the investigation from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. He said he was leaning toward ruling the case a homicide, but he added the evidence he has now is incomplete.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And in at least one media report, Rudd questioned how a killer could get close enough to attack Gliniewicz, who had served in the military and was a longtime police officer.

Investigators then said they wanted Rudd to stop releasing such unconfirmed information.

In a joint statement, Filenko and Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose said Rudd's release of information to the media is "completely outside of policy, procedure, protocols, and are completely unprofessional."

"Doctor Rudd, releasing information which is sensitive to this investigation, puts the entire case at risk," Filenko said at the time. "All of the progress made since this tragic incident is potentially in jeopardy."

Investigators later said they found "unknown sourced DNA" at the scene of Gliniewicz's death.

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