A former West Allis police officer is due in court this afternoon, after he was charged in Walworth County with hiding the bodies of two women in suitcases and then leaving them by the side of a road. The suitcases were found earlier this month by a highway worker cutting grass near Lake Geneva.
According to the criminal complaint, 52-year-old Steven Zelich met both of the victims online and killed them when he first met each of them. Their bodies were then placed in separate suitcases. Police say Zelich told them that he caused the death of both women, although he has not been charged with homicide.
Police believe one of the victims, 37-year-old Laura Simonson, was killed at a hotel in Rochester, Minnesota last November. Hotel staff told investigators that Simonson checked in with Zelich, but checked out alone the next day. Simonson’s family reported her missing three weeks later, and she was reportedly found with a rope around her neck and a gag in her mouth.
The second woman, named “Jane Doe” in the complaint, was found partially in a garbage bag, with both of her hands tied behind her back. The complaint says Zelich hid the unnamed victim’s body in his home and his vehicle for over a year, after he met her in Kenosha County in late 2012 or early last year.