Investigation Finds Illinois Cop At Center Of Manhunt Shot Himself

November 4, 2015

(Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET.)

Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, the Illinois police officer whose death prompted a massive manhunt, actually shot himself, investigators have concluded.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Lake County Marjor Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said Gliniewicz committed suicide after he spent years stealing money from the police force.

“There are no winners,” Filenko said. “Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.”

If you remember, back in September, Gliniewicz, 52, radioed to dispatchers that he was in pursuit of three suspects. Gliniewicz lost contact and was later found dead of a gunshot wound.

Federal and local authorities staged a huge manhunt and Gliniewicz was honored with an 18-mile funeral procession.

Filenko said Gliniewicz fired two shots. The first hit his bullet-proof vest. Then he carefully aimed his gun in between the vest and the carrier and fired another deadly round.

Filenko said after reviewing thousands of pages of documents and considering all scenarios, they came to the conclusion that Gliniewicz, who had experience staging criminal scenes for training purposes, was responsible for a “carefully staged suicide.”

Thomas Rudd, the Lake County coroner, agreed with that conclusion.

Filenko said that some of the text messages revealed that Gliniewicz may have been worried that an audit being conducted by the city would eventually reveal that he had been stealing from the city.

“I can tell you that eventually he would have been caught,” Filenko said. “The Village of Fox Lake had begun conducting an internal audit of all its assets and that was a concern that the audit was going to uncover his financial malfeasance.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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