Months before an Illinois police officer staged his suicide to make it seem like he died in the line of duty, subjecting his community to an expensive and fruitless manhunt, he apparently sought a hit man to kill a village administrator he feared would expose him as a thief, a detective told the AP on Thursday. Det. Chris Covelli said Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz sent a text in April asking a woman to set up a meeting with a "high ranking gang member to put a hit on the village manager." Gliniewicz sent another message in May saying he had thought of "planting things," which made more sense after investigators found small packages of cocaine in Gliniewicz's desk after he died, Covelli said. The drugs were "not linked to any case that we could find," raising the possibility that the lieutenant sought to frame the manager, Anne Marrin, as a drug criminal before she could expose 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.
Authorities declined to identify the woman Gliniewicz texted in April, other than to say she is not in law enforcement. Investigators did interview the high-ranking gang member, who denied ever talking to Gliniewicz. "We found no evidence that they ever talked and we were able to rule him out" as a suspect, Covelli said. Gliniewicz sent the texts after Marrin, the village's first professional administrator, began auditing Fox Lake's finances, including the Police Explorers program that authorities now say the lieutenant had been stealing from for seven years. Marrin thanked authorities for solving the case and seemed nonplussed that Gliniewicz had made personal threats against her. Asking tough questions was part of her job, she said. She pressed him the day before his death to share an inventory of his program's assets. He responded the next morning, promising to deliver it that afternoon. Instead, he committed suicide. Just why he tried to make it look like murder remains unclear. It's unclear whether a suicide finding would prevent his family from receiving benefits. Authorities are also investigating Gliniewicz's wife, Melodie, and one of his sons, DJ. (Read more suicide stories.)