October 25, 2014

Homicide charge filed in suitcase bodies case

Steven Zelich

Steven Zelich

Prosecutors in Kenosha County have filed charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse against 52-year-old Steven Zelich of West Allis.

The charges stem from the death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, who prosecutors have said in the past they believe was killed in the Kenosha area. The Cottage Grove, Oregon woman’s body, along with the body of 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minnesota, were found in early June, stuffed in suitcases that were left along a road in the Town of Geneva.

Zelich, a former police officer, is already facing felony charges of hiding a corpse in Walworth County.

Investigators have testified that Zelich admitted to killing the women accidentally during sexual encounters, then hiding their bodies in his home and car before eventually abandoning them along the road.