After weeks of mystery and speculation surrounding the death of Fox Lake, Illinois, police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, officials will say Wednesday they believe suicide was the cause of death, a law enforcement official told CNN.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced it would provide “conclusive results of the investigation” at a news conference.
Gliniewicz died of “devastating gunshot wound” to his torso, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd said in September.
The last call
The veteran officer had planned to retire in August, but he was asked to stay on for another month.
The last radio call of his more than 30 years on the job was anything but routine. It would signal the beginning of a mystery that stumped investigators for a time.
On the morning of Sept. 1, the lieutenant sent word over his radio at 7:52 a.m. he was pursuing a trio on foot. Three minutes later, he requested backup. Radio communication dropped off. Colleagues would not hear Gliniewicz’s voice again.
The backups arrived at about 8 a.m. and a few minutes later found Gliniewicz dead. His body was roughly 50 yards from his cruiser, police said.
Three people who appeared in a surveillance video near the crime scene were cleared of any suspicion.
Gliniewicz was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time he was shot, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation. One of the officials said Gliniewicz was hit by two shots — one stopped by his bulletproof vest, and another entered his torso at a downward angle.
The officer’s .40-caliber pistol was found at the scene. A source involved in the investigation has told CNN in September that Gliniewicz’s gun was fired, but it’s not clear who pulled the trigger.
Lake County officials have said the case was being handled as a homicide, but other theories remained on the table during the investigation, including the possibility of a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound.
The coroner has said he can’t rule out a homicide, suicide or accident.
A massive manhunt was launched in the aftermath.
More than 400 law enforcement officers raked through the heavy woods near Fox Lake on foot, all-terrain vehicles and horseback.
The FBI, U.S. marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also helped in the hunt as well as police from adjoining areas. But eventually they pulled out, saying no suspects or persons of interest had been identified.