A Walworth County judge set bond at a million dollars Friday for a former West Allis police officer suspected of killing two women and then disposing of their bodies by leaving them in suitcases along a road in the Town of Geneva.
Prosecutors asked for the high bond during 52-year-old Steven Zelich’s initial appearance on two felony counts of hiding a corpse. Defense lawyer Travis Schwantes wanted a much lower bond, arguing that Zelich has not been charged with homicide. However, District Attorney Daniel Necci said he expects homicide charges in the counties where the women were killed — Laura Simonson in Rochester Minnesota, and the yet-to-be-named victim in Kenosha County
Authorities say Zelich stored both corpses for months at his West Allis home and later in his vehicle. He then dumped the suitcases along a grassy roadside near Lake Geneva, where they were then found on June 5 by a highway crew as it was cutting the grass.
Authorities say Zelich met both women online, then had separate encounters with them in which he killed them violently. However, his attorney also suggested that both women may have died as the result of accidents, possibly while having consensual sex.
Zelich is due back in Walworth County next Thursday for preliminary hearing.