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Former Wisconsin cop admits killing woman, stuffing body in suitcase

January 25, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Former Wisconsin cop admits killing woman, stuffing body in suitcase

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An ex-Milwaukee cop who was scheduled to begin trial for killing an Oregon woman, then dumping her remains in a suitcase along a highway, pleaded guilty on Monday in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

Steven Zelich entered a guilty plea in the August 2012 killing of 19-year-old Oregon resident Jenny Gamez on the same day he was to begin trial.  Her remains were discovered stuffed in a suitcase along a Wisconsin highway. 

Zelich is also accused of killing a woman from Farmington, Minnesota after her body was also found stuffed into a suitcase along the same Wisconsin highway.

Minnesota Police charged Zelich with the 2013 killing of 37-year-old Minnesota resident Laura Simonson.

Police investigators said although Simonson was discovered in Wisconsin, they believe she was killed in Minnesota, which is the reason charges in her death were filed there.

Court records and testimony indicated that Gamez traveled to Wisconsin after meeting Zelich online. Authorities said Zelich picked the woman at the Milwaukee airport and took her to a hotel in Kenosha, where they spent several days together.

Zelich told investigators Gamez died during a kinky sexual game that involved choking.

The former police officer revealed to detectives that he then stuffed Gamez in her suitcase, took her remains back to his West Allis apartment, where he kept her body in the refrigerator.

Simonson’s death occurred under the same circumstances in November 2013. Zelich had met her online, and she died while playing the same twisted choking game at a hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.

Zelich drove back to Wisconsin with the body, later put both sets of remains in suitcases and kept them in the trunk of his car.

However, once they began to smell, he dumped them on the roadside, where highway workers mowing grass found them in June 2014, according to investigators.

Zelich’s attorney, Jonathan Smith, had declined to discuss his trial strategy.

“It’s been maintained that this was a non-intentional act,” he said ahead of the Monday hearing

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