August 23, 2014

Police believe one woman found in suitcase killed in Minnesota

Steven Zelich

Steven Zelich

One of the two women found dead in suitcases near Lake Geneva earlier this month was likely killed at a Microtel Inn in Rochester, Minnesota.

Police in the southeast Minnesota community say the suspect, 52-year-old Steven Zelich of West Allis, checked into the Microtel Inn last November 2nd with 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minnesota. Zelich reportedly checked out the next day without Simonson and she was reported by missing by her family three weeks later. Her family claims Simonson has a history of mental illness and had placed escort ads on Craigslist. Her seven children have been in the care of her father.

Authorities in Walworth County say Simonson and another female were found dead in separate suitcases three weeks ago by a highway crew that was cutting grass. Zelich was arrested Wednesday, after evidence was seized from his apartment in West Allis.

Rochester Police Captain John Sherwin told The Post Bulletin that Zelich has confessed to being involved in Simonson’s death. The other victim appears to have been killed in Wisconsin and authorities believe they have identified her, but her name has not been released.

Zelich is currently being held in the Walworth County Jail on two felony counts of hiding a corpse. He’s expected to make his first court appearance on Friday.