Steven Zelich charged with homicide in Kenosha County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Steven Zelich charged with homicide in Kenosha County

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KENOSHA (WKOW) -- A former police officer is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of one of two women found dead in suitcases left along a rural road in Walworth County.

Steven Zelich, 52, of West Allis, was charged Tuesday in the death of Jenny Gamez, 19, a college student from Cottage Grove, Oregon.

This latest charge was made in Kenosha County. Zelich was previously charged with hiding a corpse in Walworth County, Wisconsin, where the suitcases were found June 5.  The Walworth County prosecutor said homicide charges would have to come in the counties where the women died.

A Walworth County detective testified in June that Zelich told investigators he met Gamez at a Kenosha County hotel in 2012 and killed her accidentally during rough sex, then put Gamez's body in a suitcase that he stored for more than a year in his home and car.

The other victim has been identified as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minnesota. Zelich told investigators she died in November at a hotel in Rochester, Minnesota. No charges have been filed yet in that state.

Zelich eventually moved Gamez's body to the trunk of his car, where he also was storing Simonson's body, a criminal complaint said. He told the detective he dropped them in Walworth County in early June after they began to smell.

Zelich worked for West Allis police from February 1989 until his resignation in August 2001, following an internal investigation that found he stalked women while on duty and used his position to get access to their personal information. His resignation allowed him to avoid discipline and pass state background checks for a private security officer's license. He was working as a licensed private security officer when he was arrested June 25.

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