Missing Oregon woman might be second suitcase body

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Gazette staff
Sunday, June 29, 2014

EUGENE, Ore.—An Oregon television station is reporting that one of the bodies found in suitcases on a Walworth County road June 5 could be that of a young Oregon woman.

KEZI 9 News quotes a police officer from Cottage Grove, Oregon, as saying his department is working with Wisconsin investigators to obtain dental records of Jenny Gamez from a Cottage Grove dental clinic.

Walworth County Undersheriff Kurt Picknell said Sunday night he had heard the story but would not confirm it.

Gamez disappeared in 2012. Her mother told the TV station that after looking at the police drawing of the unidentified woman, she is convinced it's Gamez.

Steven Zelich, 52, of West Allis has been charged with two counts of hiding a corpse in the case. He is being held on a $1 million bond in Walworth County.

Zelich told investigators he was involved in the deaths of the two women, according to the criminal complaint, but his attorney has suggested the deaths might have occurred accidentally during consensual sex.

The other body has been identified as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minnesota.

Gamez graduated from Oakridge High School in Oregon, possibly in 2011, an Associated Press story out of Oregon suggests. The story said she was the mother of a young child.

Last updated: 9:01 pm Sunday, June 29, 2014

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