In a stunning turn of events, Lake County officials are expected to announce Wednesday that the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a suicide related to personal issues and an ongoing law enforcement investigation of him, sources said.
The shooting death of Gliniewicz on Sept. 1 sparked a massive manhunt for several days but resulted in no arrests. For two months, authorities have treated the death as a homicide investigation, while saying they had not ruled out suicide as a possibility.
Sources said investigators have determined that Gliniewicz killed himself. The details of the law enforcement investigation of him could not be confirmed Tuesday night.
Lake County officials said in a news release Tuesday that they’ll provide “significant, new” information at a news conference 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Round Lake Beach Civic Center but declined to release any further details.
Gliniewicz’s family had previously denied reports that the gunshots may have been self-inflicted. The family couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
But in a televised interview on WGN’s “Crime Watch Daily” last month, Gliniwiecz’s widow Mel said she “wholeheartedly” believed her husband was murdered.
At the time the interview aired in early October, she said claims that his death was a suicide were “disrespectful, hurtful and irresponsible.” She said she felt very angry when the coroner said suicide wasn’t being ruled out.
“There were two shots. Somebody that is going to kill themselves is not going to shoot themselves twice. My husband was a firearms instructor. He was a sniper,” Mel Gliniewicz said.
“There were things that were happening in our life that people who are going to commit suicide would never do. He’d already applied for chiefs’ jobs in other towns. He was retiring out. We were planning vacations. He lived for these things,” she said on the show.
Gliniewicz was found dead after he radioed dispatchers that he was checking on three men. He was shot twice in the upper torso. The married father of four — known in the community as “G.I. Joe” — was a 30-year veteran of the police department.
His death — believed by many to be a brutal murder of an admired police officer — sparked an outpouring of support in the community and attracted national attention.
In October, investigators revealed that a bullet from his own gun killed Gliniewicz, without saying who might have pulled the trigger. The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said the last moments of the officer’s life appeared to have involved a physical struggle.
He was shot twice, with both bullets from his service weapon, authorities said. The first shot struck his bulletproof vest, with the force of a “sledgehammer.” The second bullet struck the upper left chest region and killed him.
Last month, authorities said there were nine samples of unidentified DNA found at the crime scene. They declined to say whether any of that DNA was found on Gliniewicz’s service weapon.