December 19, 2014

Zelich pleads not guilty in suitcase bodies case

Steven Zelich

Steven Zelich

A former West Allis police officer has entered not guilty pleas to charges that he hid the bodies of two women in suitcases.

52-year-old Steven Zelich is charged in Walworth County with two felony counts of hiding a corpse. He’s accused of leaving two suitcases along a rural road in the town of Geneva in early June, which contained the bodies of 27-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minnesota and 19-year-old Jenny Gamez of Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Police say Zelich admitted to killing both women in other locations, then holding on to their bodies for months before disposing of them. Zelich’s attorney has argued that both may have died accidentally during consensual sexual activity.

Homicide charges have not been filed yet and prosecutors have said they expect that to happen in the communities where the women were killed. Zelich remains jailed on a one million dollar bond.