Olmsted County Prosecutors File Charges in ‘Suitcase Bodies’ Case
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Olmsted County Attorney’s office has filed charges against a former Milwaukee area police officer in connection with the discovery of the bodies of two women in suitcases that were left along a rural Wisconsin road in June of last year.
The criminal complaint against 54-year-old Steven Zelich includes 1st and 2nd degree murder charges, although the 1st degree counts are contingent on an indictment being issued by the Olmsted County Grand Jury. Officials say it’s a complicated case involving hundreds of reports and a large amount of forensic evidence.
Investigators allege Zelich killed one of the women at a Rochester hotel in early November 2013. 37-year-old Laura Simonson was from Farmington. Zelich is accused of killing the other woman at a hotel in Kenosha Wisconsin in 2012. She was identified as 19-year-old Jenny Gamez of Oregon. Zelich told investigators he killed both women after meeting them online through sex and bondage related websites. Zelich has told investigators the two women died during what he said was “breath control play.”
He is currently scheduled to stand trial on first-degree murder and other charges in Wisconsin in January. County Attorney Mark Ostrem says Zelich is not expected to appear in Olmsted County Court until the criminal proceedings in Wisconsin are completed.