Detective: 'Hero' cop sought hit-man to cover up thefts

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Death of Illinois Police Officer Was Carefully-Planned Suicide

FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) — Months before an Illinois police officer staged his suicide to look like murder, prompting an expensive manhunt that put his community under siege, he tried to find a hit man to kill a village administrator he feared would expose him as a thief, a detective told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Det. Chris Covelli said Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz sent a text in April asking a woman to contact a "high ranking gang member to put a hit on the village manager." Gliniewicz also texted that perhaps the hit man could "plant something" on the manager, Covelli said.

SEE MORE: AP source: Wife, son of dead Illinois cop also investigated

Investigators found small packages of cocaine in his desk, "not linked to any case that we could find," and believe Gliniewicz may have sought to frame the manager, Anne Marrin, as a drug criminal before she exposed him as an embezzler, the detective said.

"We never found any explanation why those drugs were in his desk at the police station," Covelli said.

Marrin, the village's first professional administrator, was auditing Fox Lake's finances, including the Police Explorers program that authorities say he secretly embezzled from for seven years.

See more from the manhunt following Lt. Gliniewicz's death:

29 PHOTOS
Illinois Manhunt, Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz
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Detective: 'Hero' cop sought hit-man to cover up thefts
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 02: Residents and police from Fox Lake and surrounding communities attend a vigil for slain Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz on September 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was shot and killed yesterday during a foot chase with three suspects who remain at large. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 02: Officers salute as the family of slain Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz arrive for a vigil held in his honor on September 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was shot and killed yesterday during a foot chase with three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police officials follow Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz's family after a vigil at Lakefront Park to honor him on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Gliniewicz was shot and killed Tuesday while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police are searching for a second day to locate three suspects in the killing. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A mourner holds a sign during a vigil at Lakefront Park to honor the memory of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Gliniewicz was shot and killed Tuesday while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Authorities broadened the hunt Wednesday for the suspects wanted in the fatal shooting. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Police search from a helicopter for suspects in the shooting of a police officer, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
This undated photo provided by the Fox Lake Police Department shows Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who was shot and killed Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles were conducting a massive manhunt Tuesday in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of Gliniewicz. (Fox Lake Police Department photo via AP)
Members of various police agencies gather as they continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
CORRECTS TO GLINIEWICZ FROM GLINIEWITZ- Police officers confer while searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 outside Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
A heavily armed police officer walks in a shopping area after searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
Police officers meet up before heading out for a manhunt on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers get get a break after coming off a search mission as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees during a manhunt for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in the shooting death of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CORRECTS TO GLINIEWICZ FROM GLINIEWITZ- A police K-9 team rest after searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police sniper keeps watch from the roof of a home while other police search nearby for suspects involved in the shooting of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officers looks out across a search area as the manhunt continues for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Supporters hold signs as police continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewitz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
Supporters hold signs as police continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Sisters Brittany (L) and Renee Evans join other residents in showing their support as the manhunt continues for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Members of local, state and federal police agencies gather as they continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officer searches an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A sniper and a lookout stand on top of a roof searching for two men following the killing of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Police officers search for suspects after a police officer was shot on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Joe Shuman/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in the shooting death of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officer cools down his search dog as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees during a manhunt for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police officers patrol a swampy area where a manhunt is taking place on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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Gliniewicz, often called "G.I. Joe," was a respected figure in the bedroom community of 10,000 people 50 miles north of Chicago. His death on Sept. 1, moments after he radioed that he was chasing three suspicious men, prompted an intense manhunt involving hundreds of officers, and raised fears of cop-killers on the loose.

Two months later, authorities announced that he in fact killed himself to cover his crimes. And now authorities are also investigating his wife, Melodie, and one of his sons, D.J., as well, an official said Thursday.

Melodie Gliniewicz helped her husband run the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post, which put young people interested in law enforcement careers through sophisticated training exercises. In a newspaper interview weeks ago, D.J. Gliniewicz, who is in his 20s, angrily dismissed suggestions that his father took his own life.

The official, who was briefed on the investigation, spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Authorities refused to officially identify anyone beyond the lieutenant who is suspected in any crimes.

The family — the couple had three other children — issued a brief statement Wednesday through their attorneys in which they said they were still grieving but which didn't mention the finding that Lt. Gliniewicz took his own life or that he had been stealing from the youth program. The attorneys, Henry Tonigan and Andrew Kelleher, didn't immediately respond to voicemail and email messages sent Thursday seeking comment.

See more from Lt. Gliniewicz's funeral:

9 PHOTOS
Illinois cop funeral Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz
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Detective: 'Hero' cop sought hit-man to cover up thefts
Jeff Jacobs of the Illinois State Police and Leroy Pugesek of the Lake County Sheriff's Office hug outside the funeral of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. The man in the maroon beret is Lt. Gliniewicz's son. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Hundreds of people get in line to pay their respects to slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend Gliniewicz's visitation and funeral today. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Ron Flug, foreground, ride captain of the Patriot Guards leads the group to Antioch High School for the funeral of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers salute the casket of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz as it is wheeled into Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
A memorial is in place at the Fox Lake Police Department on Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Police are searching for a second day to locate three suspects in the killing of Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Tara England of Ingleside and her 11 year-old son pray in front of the memorial for slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Three suspects still remain at large and a manhunt is underway in the area. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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On Sept. 1 — the day he died — Gliniewicz radioed in that he was chasing three suspicious men into a swampy area. Backup officers found the Army veteran's body about 50 yards from his squad car.

Authorities launched a large and costly manhunt for the suspects, but produced only one arrest — a woman accused of calling in a false lead. As the probe stretched on, suspicion grew that he had killed himself, but investigators publicly treated it as a homicide investigation, while saying they couldn't rule out suicide.

On Wednesday, investigators confirmed those suspicions. Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko, who led the investigation, said the 30-year police veteran had the kind of intimate knowledge of crime scenes needed to pull it off and clearly intended to mislead investigators.

Up until the day he died, the village administrator was pressing to see the explorer program's books as part of a village-wide audit.

Recovered text messages and other records now show Gliniewicz spent the money on mortgage payments, travel expenses, gym memberships, adult websites, withdrawing cash and making loans, Filenko said.

His precise motive for trying to make his death look like a homicide remains unclear. Filenko said he didn't know whether a suicide finding would prevent his family from receiving benefits.

"Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal," Filenko said Wednesday. "We completely believed from Day One that this was a homicide."

The huge outpouring of grief in the village where the 52-year-old officer had long been a role model has been replaced by a sense of betrayal. Tribute to their slain hero have come down; signs praising "G.I. Joe" have disappeared, replaced in one place by a poster labeling him "G.I. Joke."

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