A look at the Illinois officer slaying investigation

AP News
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Posted: Sep 04, 2015 7:47 PM
A look at the Illinois officer slaying investigation

FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) — Investigators in northern Illinois are hoping a $50,000 reward and new videos will help produce a break in the hunt for three men wanted in this week's fatal shooting of a police officer. A guide to key aspects of the case:

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THE SLAYING

Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a 30-year police veteran who was on the cusp of retiring, was shot Tuesday in the village of Fox Lake while pursuing three suspicious men, authorities say. He had told dispatchers the three ran into a swampy area and requested a second unit. Dispatchers soon lost contact with him, and backup officers found him about 50 yards from his squad car with a gunshot wound. He died soon after.

The killing occurred in an open area of trees and marshland bordered by several houses on one end and a public works site on the other. Police say they've previously received several complaints about vandalism and squatters in the area, but it was not clear what brought Gliniewicz to the scene Tuesday.

Fox Lake is about 45 miles north of Chicago.

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THE LATEST

Motorola Solutions Inc., which has employees who live in the area, has offered up $50,000 in reward money for information leading to the capture and conviction of the killers. And residents and businesses have stepped forward with several more videos in addition to one earlier this week from a resident's home security system that the homeowner says shows three men.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko told reporters on Friday he believes the new videos are "even more relevant," and that some came from intersection traffic cameras.

He said he hadn't yet had a chance to view any of them himself because they're being analyzed and processed by the FBI and the federal Department of Homeland Security. But he said he expected to have a chance to review some of them Friday.

"We're optimistic about all of these videos right now," Filenko said, adding that the videos are from different cameras that will put a chronological "storyline together."

Authorities hope the videos will offer investigators a detailed description of the three suspects. For three days, authorities have had only a vague description of the men that Gliniewicz radioed in to dispatchers: Two are white, the other is black.

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CHASING LEADS

Filenko says investigators are getting so many tips by phone, email and social media that a second detective has been tasked with filtering through them. Authorities believe there's a strong possibility the suspects are still in the general area, and detectives are depending on the public's help.

"All it takes is one tip or good lead to break a case wide open," Filenko said.

Among the tips was one about three men seen leaving a gas station in Michigan. The car they were in turned out to have been stolen in the greater Chicago area, Filenko said.

"We're still working that lead," he said Friday, adding that the vague description has resulted in many calls from the public.

Filenko has more than 100 people actively deployed to investigate on the ground. They are going back to nearby homes to interview residents, sometimes two or three times.

During the manhunt, patrols have also searched cabins, barns and forests that dot the rural landscape and its many forest preserves.

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NERVES RATTLED

Fox Lake is nestled in one of the state's most popular recreational areas, a boating and fishing playground known as the Chain O' Lakes. It's especially busy during Labor Day weekend, usually drawing tens of thousands of visitors.

But concerns mounted that tourists might decide to go elsewhere because of the heavy police presence and fear that the fugitives could be hiding somewhere among the lakes, wetlands and forest glens.

"People are concerned about those individuals. And the few customers I get in here, that's all they talk about," said Marciano Martinez, co-owner of the popular Dockers restaurant.

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MOURNING A POPULAR OFFICER

Gliniewicz, a 52-year-old tattooed officer with a shaved head, was known around town as "G.I. Joe." Beyond his decades-long career in law enforcement, he was also a mentor and role model in the community, having led a police Explorers post for four years.

Gliniewicz was planning to retire at the end of the month and had just met Monday with the mayor to ensure that the Explorer post would go on.

His funeral will be 1 p.m. Monday at Antioch High School, northeast of Fox Lake.