The wife and son of an Illinois police lieutenant whom investigators say took his own life to avoid being exposed as an embezzler are themselves under investigation, local media reported late Wednesday.
Authorities told a news conference Wednesday morning that Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph "Joe" Gliniewicz took his own life Sept. 1 because his theft of thousands of dollars from a youth program was about to be exposed. During the news conference, investigators said that the investigation "strongly suggests criminal activity on the part of at least two other individuals."
According to Fox 32 Chicago, police are investigating whether Gliniewicz's wife Melodie and son D.J. played any part in the scheme masterminded by their husband and father. A source tell Fox News that the family is hiding out and are not a their home.
WGN-TV reported late Wednesday that Melodie and D.J. Gliniewicz were the two individuals with whom Joe Glieniewicz communicated in text and Facebook messages in which he discussed his fear of exposure. Authorities released those messages Wednesday morning, identifying the recipients as "Individual #1" and "Individual #2".
WGN also reported that among the expenses Gliniewicz paid for with money meant for Fox Lake's Police Explorer program was a Hawaii vacation with his wife that cost up to $9,000.
The messages reveal Gliniewicz's increasing anxiety after Fox Lake hired its first professional administrator, Anne Marrin. She began auditing all the village departments, including the Explorer program.
"If she gets ahold [sic] of the old checking account, im [sic] pretty well f***ed," the officer wrote in May.
"This village administrator hates me and explorer program," he wrote in June. "This situation right here would give her the means to CRUCIFY ME (if) it were discovered."
On Aug. 31, the day before Gliniewicz shot himself, Marrin asked again about the program's inventory.
"I said do you have that and he said 'yes ma'am. And I said, 'good, can you have that to me at 2 o'clock?' And he said 'yes, ma'am.'
The Glieniewicz family released a statement through their attorneys after the news conference Wednesday, saying it had been, "another day of deep sorrow for the Gliniewicz Family. The family has cooperated with the Task Force’s investigation and will not comment at this time. The Gliniewicz family requests that their privacy be respected as they continue to cope with the loss of the beloved husband and Father."
Gliniewicz's death, initially believed to be a homicide, sparked an intense manhunt, with hundreds of officers searching houses, cabins and even boats on area lakes. Helicopters with heat-sensing scanners and K-9 units scoured the area for days. Some 50 suburban Chicago police departments and sheriff's offices assisted, racking up more than $300,000 in overtime and other costs, according to an analysis the Daily Herald published in early October.
Later Wednesday, the CEO of the 100 Club of Chicago, an organization that assists the families of officers killed in the line of duty, said he is asking the Gliniewicz family to return a $15,000 check he gave them on the day Gliniewicz was found dead.
Joe Ahern told the Chicago Tribune this is the first time the organization has requested the return of a donation.
Also Wednesday, Motorola Solutions announced a $50,000 reward that had been promised for information leading to the arrest of Gliniewicz's killer will instead be donated to the Fox Lake Explorer post to replace stolen funds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.