Video: Absent more serious charges, Zelich case moves forward

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Dan Plutchak | July 7, 2014

ELKHORN -- Steven Zelich, the former West Allis police officer accused of hiding bodies in suitcases and dumping them along a North Como Road in Geneva Township, was bound over for trial July 3, 2014 by Walworth County Circuit Court judge Phillip Koss.

Video: Zelich arrives in court July 3, 2014.

Whether or not Zelich actually goes to trial in Walworth County depends on other "more serious" charges that may be pending in other jurisdictions.

In a court hearing Thursday, Walworth County Sheriff's Office investigator Jeffrey Recknagel recounted his interview with Zelich, who told him that he had caused the deaths of the two women found in the suitcases, but that it was an accident.

The two women were identified as Jenny M. Gamez of Cottage Grove in the state of Oregon and Laura Simonson of Rochester, Minnesota.

They met Zelich online and died following a BDSM sexual encounter with him, Recknagel testified.

Investigators believe Gamez died in Kenosha County and Simonson died in Olmsted County, Minnesota.

Because charges have yet to be filed in either of those jurisdictions, Walworth County District Attorney Dan Necci said his office will proceed with the case in front of him.

If that changes, he said he's prepared to assist those jurisdictions in any way that would be helpful.

In the meantime, Zelich is scheduled for a plea hearing at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 17 in Walworth County Circuit Court.


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