The wife of a northern Illinois police officer who killed himself after embezzling from a youth program has been indicted on charges of money laundering and disbursing charitable funds from the same organization.
Melodie Gliniewicz turned herself in on Wednesday at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office after the grand jury agreed she should face criminal charges.
She was being processed and taken to the county jail Wednesday afternoon, he said. Her bond was set at $50,000.
Her husband, Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, also known as ‘G.I. Joe’, stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake Police Explorers Post during a seven-year stretch, according to police.
He staged his suicide on September 1 to look like a homicide because he feared investigators were close to discovering and unveiling his illicit scheme.
Melodie Gliniewicz turned herself in on Wednesday at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office after the grand jury agreed she should face criminal charges for allegedly distributing funds from a youth program. She is pictured on September 2, 2015, with her sons after her husband’s death
Joe Gliniewicz had run the Explorer program for teens interested in possible careers in law enforcement. Authorities say Melodie Gliniewicz served as an adviser to the Explorer Post and had a fiduciary role with the program’s finances.
Her accounts were frozen in November when the allegations came to light.
Gliniewicz’s death touched off an intense manhunt involving hundreds of officers and raised fears of cop killers on the loose.
Two months after Gliniewicz’ death, authorities announced that he had killed himself after embezzling from the village’s Police Explorer program for seven years, prompting tough questions about why it had taken so long to reach that conclusion.
‘We completely believed from day one that this was a homicide,’ George Filenko, the commander of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, told reporters at the time.
Gliniewicz had reportedly plotted to hire a gangster to kill an official who was about to expose the embezzlement.
On the day he died, the veteran cop radioed dispatchers to say he was following three men, two white and one black.
Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, also known as ‘G.I. Joe’, stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake Police Explorers Post during a seven-year stretch, according to police
He (pictured alongside Melodie) staged his suicide on September 1 to look like a homicide because he feared that investigators were about to discover his illicit scheme
In October, Mrs Glinewicz did an interview with Crime Watch Daily, insisting her husband hadn’t committed suicide. She said: ‘I wholeheartedly believe [my husband] was murdered. [To suggest] otherwise is disrespectful, hurtful, irresponsible’
After calling for back up he was found dead in the woods from a gunshot wound to the torso.
FBI investigators initially had doubts about Gliniewicz’s ‘murder’ after cell phone records showed him in the area for 30 minutes before radioing back up.
Local authorities ignored this and pursued a man hunt for the alleged suspects, which earned national attention.
Thousands attended Gliniewicz’s funeral, which became a statewide event in Illinois, on September 7, 2015. In death, the 30-year police veteran was a hero until his supposed greed was revealed.
In October, Mrs Glinewicz did an interview with Crime Watch Daily, insisting her husband hadn’t committed suicide.
She said: ‘I wholeheartedly believe [my husband] was murdered. [To suggest] otherwise is disrespectful, hurtful, irresponsible.
‘When the coroner said it could be suicide there was a lot of anger. The coroner is an elected person, he did not perform the autopsy.
‘The one that performed the autopsy came and stood on my deck and told me everything.’
Mrs Gliniewicz said the autopsy showed her husband was hit with two bullets, one that was stopped by his bullet proof vest, and another that hit him in the torso.
FROM A FALLEN HERO TO A VILLAIN: HOW LT CHARLES JOE GLINIEWICZ’S DEATH PLAYED OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
7:52 a.m. — Gliniewicz, who is on his way to work, radios to say he has spotted suspicious individuals and is checking them out.
7:55 a.m. — He radios again to say the three men — two white and one black — ran into a swampy area and he is pursuing. He asks for backup.
8:01 a.m. — Two more police officers arrive.
8:09 a.m. — Officers find Gliniewicz’s body about 50 yards from his squad car.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Hundreds gather at a Fox Lake park for a vigil for Gliniewicz. Authorities use dogs and aircraft to search for suspects.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Authorities use at least 100 investigators to broaden the hunt from the initial 2-square-mile perimeter.
A sign honoring Lt. Joseph ‘G.I. Joe’ Gliniewicz is defaced outside the Fox Lake Police Department after news of his allegations surfaced
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Lake County Sheriff’s Office detective says investigators have recovered new piece of ‘significant’ evidence.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
Hundreds of police officers from around the country attend Gliniewicz’s funeral with a mile-long procession through Fox Lake.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
The Lake County Major Crime Task Force holds a news conference to say a promising lead didn’t pan out but that they are trying to identify DNA left at the crime scene.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
The Lake County coroner says Gliniewicz died of a ‘single devastating’ gunshot wound, but that it can’t rule whether his death was a homicide, suicide or accident.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
Police leading the investigation call the coroner’s release of Gliniewicz’s cause of death inappropriate and potentially harmful.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Former Chicago police officer Joseph A. Battaglia is charged with a felony for allegedly threatening the Lake County coroner and investigators unless they categorized Gliniewicz’s death as a suicide.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Gliniewicz’s son, Donald ‘D.J.’ Gliniewicz, says his father ‘never once had a single suicidal thought in his life.’
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Police say they received the results of gun residue and ballistics tests but that they don’t support or exclude any theories in Gliniewicz’s death.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1
Police hold a news conference to say Gliniewicz was shot twice with his own weapon and there were signs of struggle at the scene.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13
A woman from a nearby community pleads not guilty to falsely telling police she saw suspects wanted in Gliniewicz’s death.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office calls a Wednesday news conference to announce the results of its investigation into Gliniewicz’s death.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4
Authorities say Gliniewicz elaborately staged his own death and had embezzled thousands of dollars over seven years from the Fox Lake Police Explorers club, which he oversaw. They say he spent the money on mortgage payments, travel and adult websites, among other things.