Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Ex-police officer pleads not guilty to killing woman, hiding body in suitcase

Author:

A former police officer accused of hiding the bodies of two women in suitcases which were found along a rural Wisconsin road in June, pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the death of one of the women.

Steven Zelich, 52, entered a not guilty plea to first-degree homicide and hiding the corpse of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez of Cottage Grove, Oregon, in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, court Monday, WITI reports. Gamez is believed to have died in Kenosha County in 2012.

He had waived a preliminary hearing Friday in Gamez's death, WTAQ reports.

Zelich said he met both Gamez and 37-year-old Laura Simonson, of Farmington, Minnesota, whose body was also found in a suitcase, online and arranged to meet them. In early July, an official testified that Zelich admitted he killed the two women accidentally during separate sexual encounters, which included bondage.

Prosecutors say he then hid the women’s bodies in suitcases for months before dumping them in Geneva, Wisconsin, about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

Last month, Zelich had pleaded not guilty to charges in Walworth County, Wisconsin, that he intentionally hid the bodies. He has a status hearing scheduled with that case on Sept. 23.

Homicide charges are filed in the counties where the two women died. Gamez is believed to have died in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Simonson in Rochester, Minnesota. Charges are expected out of Olmsted County, Minnesota, in Simonson's death.

Next Up

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.

covid

Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Related