Former Wisconsin Cop Arraigned in Rochester Murder Case
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A former Milwaukee-area police officer who pleaded guilty earlier this year to murdering a young woman in Wisconsin was arraigned in Olmsted County Court Thursday in the killing of a woman in Rochester.
55-year-old Steven Zelich is accused of murdering 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington at a Rochester motel in November 2013.
Her remains and those of the other victim were found in suitcases along a rural Wisconsin road several months later.
Murder charges were filed against Zelich in Olmsted County last year. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem had indicated Zelich would be transferred to Rochester to face prosecution after the Wisconsin case was resolved.
During Thursday’s hearing, an evidentiary hearing was scheduled Jan. 3rd.
The first victim was identified as a 19-year-old college student from Oregon. Zelich told investigators she was killed in August 2012 while the two were at a hotel in Kenosha and he hid her body in a refrigerator for more than a year. Zelich told investigators he killed both women after meeting them online through sex and bondage related websites. Zelich told investigators the two women died during what he said was “breath control play" or erotic asphyxiation.