Source: Wife, son part of investigation in Fox Lake
The wife and second-oldest son of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz are being looked at as part of an investigation into the theft and embezzlement of funds from a Fox Lake youth police group, a source close to the case confirmed Thursday.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said Melodie Gliniewicz and D.J. Gliniewicz are included in the criminal investigation that stems from what authorities have said was Joseph Gliniewicz's illegal use of funds taken over seven years from the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer Post 300 account. The stolen money -- estimated to total in the five-figure range -- funded personal expenses, such as travel, mortgage payments, personal gym memberships, adult websites, personal loans and cash withdrawals, authorities have said.
The widow and son have not been charged with any crimes.
Mel Gliniewicz is listed on the Explorer Post 300 website as an adviser to the program, and D.J. Gliniewicz, who serves in the U.S. Army, once served as an Explorer captain.
Attorney Henry "Skip" Tonigan released a statement on behalf of the Gliniewicz family Wednesday that said, "The family has cooperated with the task force's investigation and will not comment at this time."
Tonigan did not return phone calls seeking clarification Thursday.
Joseph Gliniewicz, 52, shot himself in the chest Sept. 1, because he feared his embezzlement from the Explorer post would be discovered during a village audit, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Chief George Filenko said Wednesday during a news conference to announce the findings of the two-month investigation. Filenko said two other individuals were being investigated by Lake County sheriff's office and U.S. Justice Department as part of the case.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said results from the task force investigation have been turned over to his office, and they are reviewing it. He would not comment further because it's an ongoing investigation.
Authorities are chasing clues revealed in financial records and in thousands of emails and text messages between Gliniewicz and at least two other people before he fatally shot himself.
In addition to pilfering money, Gliniewicz forged signatures on requisitions for surplus federal equipment and on Explorer documents, authorities discovered.
The texts and bank statements reviewed by an FBI forensic accountant revealed "extensive criminal activity," Filenko said during the news conference.
Excerpts of some of the messages showed Gliniewicz repeatedly spoke with people referred to as "Individual #1" and "Individual #2" about the financial crimes he's accused of committing.
For example, one text message between Gliniewicz and "Individual #2" discussed a $2,377 loan from the Explorer fund to "fix your truck specifically and only to help accommodate your summer leave, trip to OK."
The text message went on to say, "I will need you to do an allotment to their account, at a min $100 a month very soon."
Another text message to "Individual #1" said he used the "exploder acct. for the flight, $624.70. It can wait for awhile, their acct. is sitting at $3000'ish now."
The text messages and financial records were discovered in the weeks after Gliniewicz was found fatally wounded Sept. 1, in a swampy area in Fox Lake. His death had touched off a massive manhunt for two white men and a black man who Gliniewicz told dispatchers he was chasing on foot.
Lake County police initially pursued the case as a homicide, but rumors and questions swirled for several weeks and raised questions about whether Gliniewicz may have killed himself.
During an exclusive video interview with the Daily Herald, conducted shortly after his father's death, D.J. Gliniewicz thanked the community for the support it showed his family.
He said he missed his father every day.
"You know, a lot of people ask me and it's not really because I lost a father or a mentor or a coach, but I lost my best friend," D.J. Gliniewicz said. "He was a guy I was going to talk to about anything and everything.
At the time, he also said he did not believe his father killed himself because the veteran police officer was "planning a future."
"Someone who wants to take a life, they don't plan a future," D.J. Gliniewicz said. "They don't go around and say, 'I can't wait to do this' and 'I can't wait to do that.' That's why I know."
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