FOX LAKE, Ill. -- (WGN) -- The widow of an Illinois police lieutenant who tried to portray his suicide as murder was indicted Wednesday on six counts accusing her of participating in her husband's stealing of charitable funds, authorities said.
Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, is the wife of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, who killed himself last year. Officials said her husband staged his suicide to appear he was killed in the line of duty while pursuing three suspects. The case prompted a massive manhunt for weeks until authorities unraveled the ruse.
Melodie Gliniewicz was in custody Wednesday afternoon after she turned herself into authorities. She later left jail after posting a $50,000 bond.
She was charged with money laundering and paying personal expenses with funds from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post that was headed by her late husband since 1987, authorities said.
She held "a fiduciary role as an adult adviser" with the group, which encouraged youngsters to explore careers in law enforcement and the military.
The misappropriated funds between September 2008 and September 2015 were used for personal expenses such as a trip to Hawaii and charges at Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and Fox Lake Theatre, according to authorities and the indictment. They also included over 400 restaurant bills, authorities said.
Melodie Gliniewicz's attorneys asserted her innocence Wednesday and said she is a victim of her late husband's secrecy.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran summarized how the shooting of Lt. Gliniewicz came to national attention. He was deemed a hero killed in the line of duty, until authorities discovered he had been worrying about being thrown in jail for misuse of Explorer Post funds.
His death was a meticulously crafted suicide designed to look like suspects killed him, investigators concluded. There never were any suspects involved.
A Lake County, Illinois, grand jury indicted Melodie Gliniewicz on several classes of offenses, all of them felonies: three Class 2 counts of disbursing charitable funds without authority and for personal benefit, one Class 3 count of disbursing charitable funds without authority and for personal benefit, one Class 2 count of money laundering, and one Class 3 count of money laundering.
Investigators examined more than 10,000 pages of documents and subpoenaed banks and business records since the September death of Gliniewicz, who was an officer with Fox Lake police for 30 years.
Melodie Gliniewicz has four sons by her late husband, and she had been employed with her grandmother, who owns a pest control services firm in Antioch, Illinois, according to what son Donald "D.J." Gliniewicz told the Daily Herald last year.
Shortly before Joe Gliniewicz, 52, died, he radioed police dispatchers that he was chasing three male suspects -- two white and one black -- at an abandoned cement factory.
Responding officers found him dead, with gunshot wounds, close to marshlands.
Authorities concluded his shooting was self-inflicted after federal investigators in Quantico, Virginia, recovered text messages that Gliniewicz had deleted from his cell phone. In all, 6,500 pages of texts were reclaimed, authorities said.
Those text messages indicated an alleged embezzlement scheme in which Gliniewicz absconded with charitable funds from the Explorer Post, where he introduced hundreds of youngsters to potential careers in policing and the military.
Joe Gliniewicz also served in the Army for four years and the Army Reserves for 27 years. He had been working for the Fox Lake Police Department since 1985. Locals nicknamed him "G.I. Joe."