Bond Set at $1M For Ex-Cop in Wisconsin Suitcase Deaths

Steven Zelich accused of killing two women and hiding their bodies in suitcases

By M.L. Johnson
|  Saturday, Jun 28, 2014  |  Updated 5:56 AM CDT
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Bond Set at $1M For Ex-Cop in Suitcase Deaths

Walworth County Sheriff's Office

Steven Zelich

Bond has been set at $1 million for a former police officer suspected of killing two women and hiding their bodies in suitcases dumped in rural Wisconsin.

A judge set the cash bond during a hearing Friday for 52-year-old Steven Zelich, agreeing with prosecutors that it was needed to protect the public.

Zelich, who lives in West Allis, Wisconsin, was charged Thursday with two counts of hiding a corpse in Walworth County. He appeared on video for the hearing but didn't speak.

Zelich's lawyer, Travis Schwantes, asked for a far lower bond, noting his client hasn't been charged with homicide.

But District Attorney Daniel Necci says he expects homicide charges to be filed where the women were killed. Investigators allege the women were killed elsewhere in Wisconsin and in Minnesota.

Highway workers discovered two suitcases containing female remains June 5 in the Town of Geneva, about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

Police identified one woman as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minnesota. Authorities have not released the identity of the second woman but describe her as a white female with long, dark hair, a pronounced overbite and a small heart tattoo on her lower left abdomen.

According to police and a criminal complaint, Zelich met his victims online, in one case possibly through a bondage website.

Simonson was found naked with a rope around her neck and a ball gag strapped in her mouth with a collar, according to the criminal complaint filed in Walworth County, Wisconsin. The other woman's hands were bound behind her back.

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