Investigators have concluded that Lt. Charles J. Gliniewicz, an Illinois police officer who was found dead two months ago, killed himself in an apparent attempt to stage it as a homicide, according to multiple media reports ahead of a press conference.
Local media – including Fox 32, WGN-TV, the Chicago Sun-Times, and NBC Chicago – all cited sources as saying that the investigation into Lt. Gliniewicz’ death had determined it was a suicide, confirming suspicions that were first raised in the weeks after the incident.
The media reports came hours after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced that it would hold a 10 a.m. CT news conference on Wednesday to “provide significant new information” regarding the investigation. The office refused to comment on the local media reports.
“We will have no comment on that or other reports until the news conference at 10:00AM tomorrow. There will be conclusive results of the investigation announced tomorrow,” said Detective Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “We respectfully urge all members of the media to refrain from reporting as fact; rumors, innuendo, hearsay, and speculation.”
The Fox Lake police officer, a 32-year police veteran, was on the cusp of retirement when he was killed, and investigators believe that Lt. Gliniewicz committed suicide due to personal and professional pressures, Fox 32 reported.
Lt. Gliniewicz radioed dispatchers on the morning of September 1, saying he had encountered 3 suspicious persons in Fox Lake and was engaged in a foot pursuit. Communication was lost and officers responding to assist Gliniewicz discovered his body in a marshy area. It was later determined that he had been killed with his own gun, with one bullet striking his bulletproof vest and the other striking the upper left chest region.
In his last radio communication, Lt. Gliniewicz only described the suspects as two white males and one black male. No trace of the men was found in surveillance footage from the area, though investigators have yet to release information about unidentified DNA samples that were found at the scene.
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