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Illinois official says police officer who sparked manhunt committed suicide

Officer Shot ManhuntIllinois official says police officer who sparked manhunt committed suicide.

Authorities will announce that a northern Illinois police officer whose
shooting death led to a massive manhunt in September committed suicide, an
official briefed on the crime investigation told The Associated Press.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office has called a Wednesday news conference to
announce "conclusive results" of the investigation. The official spoke to the AP
Tuesday night on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief
the media.

The investigation into the death of Charles Joseph Gliniewicz determined that
the Fox Lake officer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, other media outlets
reported Tuesday, all citing anonymous sources.

A spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Christopher Covelli,
declined any comment Tuesday evening. The office said in a statement that it
would not comment until the news conference.

Gliniewicz, 52, radioed
on Sept. 1 that he was chasing three suspicious men on foot. Backup
officers later found his body 50 yards from his squad car.

A massive manhunt ensued, with hundreds of officers searching houses, cabins
and even boats on a chain of area lakes. Authorities released a vague
description of three suspects, though no one was ever arrested.

Flags flew at half-staff in honour of the 30-year police veteran after the
shooting in Fox Lake, a close-knit community of 10,000 residents located about
80 kilometres north of Chicago. Signs with the officer's picture hung in
storefront windows.

Police officers leave after searching an area for
suspects, on Sept. 2, after the death of the officer. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated
The tattooed officer with a shaved head was described by those who knew him
as tough when needed, but also as sweet and a role model to youngsters aspiring
to go into law enforcement. He had also served in the U.S. Army and was
affectionately known as "G.I. Joe."

More than 100 investigators stayed on the case for weeks, though questions
arose in mid-September and investigators began to concede that they could not
rule out suicide or an accident.

One hint came when Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd announced that
Gliniewicz was killed by a "single devastating" shot to his chest. That prompted
an angry response from Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko,
who said the release of such details put "the entire case at risk."

Gliniewicz's family dismissed the suggestion of suicide. His son D.J.
Gliniewicz said his father "never once" thought of taking his own life, and
described how his dad spoke excitedly about what he planned to do after

Gliniewicz had four children. 
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