The strange death of an Illinois officer that launched a 2 month-long manhunt for clues, ended yesterday with a shocking revelation. Police concluded that Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz killed himself in a “carefully planned suicide” that aimed to cover up the fact that he embezzled thousands of dollars from a police-funded youth program.
Gliniewicz died on September 1, after radioing in to tell the station he was pursuing three men on foot. When the Fox Lake, IL officer’s body was found afterward, the police launched a massive manhunt to find the killers. Gliniewicz was mourned by the police force and the community at large, and called a hero by the entire town.
On November 4, police announced that they have discovered that Gliniewicz killed himself, but set the situation up to look like a death in the line of duty.
After an investigation into Gliniewicz’s life, police uncovered that the 51 year-old officer and 30-year police veteran committed suicide to cover up his crimes. Gliniewicz embezzled thousands of dollars from the Youth Explorer’s police program, which he spent on mortgage payments, gym memberships, and adult websites.
“Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community,” said Major Crimes Task Force commander George Filenko, who led the lengthy investigation.
Police uncovered Gliniewicz’s embezzlement after searching through his bank and phone records. They then returned to the scene of his death, where they determined that the fatal gunshot was self-inflicted, and the radio message was fabricated. Police believe that two other individuals are also involved in the embezzlement scheme.
Gliniewicz was a deeply respected police officer and member of the community who was married with four children. Gliniewicz was an army veteran and upstanding member of the community who was active in many organizations, and received a medal of honor from the Fox Lake police department.
After his death, CNN and Anderson Cooper interviewed several members of the community, including Devan Arbay, a young man who Gliniewicz mentored. Arbay praised Gliniewicz’s character, and spoke to his heavy involvement with the Young Explorers, the organization he stole from.
Watch a report in the story from ABC7 in the video below: