Officials to announce Illinois policeman's death was suicide: reports

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 04, 2015 8:51 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Officials are expected to announce on Wednesday that a northern Illinois policeman, whose early September death prompted an extensive manhunt for murder suspects, died of an apparent suicide, according to media reports that cited unnamed sources.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. CST to discuss "significant new information" in the investigation into the death of Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. A sheriff's office representative declined further comment.

Gliniewicz was found wounded on Sept. 1 after reporting that he was pursuing suspects on foot. He later died.

One month later, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Commander George Filenko said Gliniewicz's death was a homicide investigation but suicide had not been ruled out.

The Chicago Sun-Times, citing sources, reported that Gliniewicz had personal problems and that he was the target of a law enforcement investigation. Gliniewicz used police department money for personal purchases, WGN-TV reported.

Gliniewicz was shot twice with his weapon. One shot hit the right side of the front of his protective vest, which was severe enough to incapacitate him, and the other, believed to be the fatal wound, struck him in the upper left chest, Filenko said.

Police have said Gliniewicz had been pursuing three suspects on foot in a remote area when he was shot.

The shooting drew hundreds of local, state and federal officers to search around Fox Lake, about 60 miles (100 km) north of Chicago and near the Wisconsin border. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a no-fly zone over the search area.

Hundreds of mourners packed a vigil for Gliniewicz as well as his funeral. Family members described Gliniewicz, 52, a decorated 30-year veteran of the Fox Lake Police Department, known as "G.I. Joe," as a hero.

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)