Former Cop Arrested in Wisconsin Suitcase Deaths

One female victim identified, police asking for public's help identifying second woman

A former West Allis, Wisc., police officer was arrested Wednesday in connection with the deaths of two women whose remains were found in suitcases near a road in the Town of Geneva.

Steven M. Zelich, 52, who retired from the force in 2001, is in custody, according to police chief Steven Hurley said.

A highway worker discovered two suitcases June 5 as he mowed the grass in the southeast Wisconsin town. Hurley said police found one body in each case.

Felicia Sopa, who lives across the hall from Zelich, told Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ that he mainly kept to himself.

"He leaves in the morning, I don't think he drives a car because he leaves from the front door," Sopa said. "I don't really know when he comes home."

Police on Wednesday also identified one of the two victims as Laura Simonson, 37, from Farmington, Minnesota. Hurley said Simonson was reported missing by her mother on Nov. 22, 2013.

"The West Allis Police Department is assisting in the investigation and the Chief would like to assure the citizens of West Allis that there is no danger," Hurley said.

Hurley is asking for the public's help to identify the second victim, described as a possibly Caucasian woman, between the ages of 15 and 35, standing 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-4 and weighing 120 to 140 pounds.

She has long straight, dark brown or black hair, police said, as well as a pronounced overbite and crooked lower teeth. She also has two piercings in each ear and a quarter-sized heart tattoo on her lower left abdomen/pelvic area.

Anyone with information about the incident or identification of the second woman is asked to contact the Town of Geneva Police Department at 262-248-9926.

Anonymous tips can be emailed here or texted to “CRIMES” (274637) with a message starting with tip4wc. A tip also can be reported to the Walworth County Crime Stoppers at 262-723-2677 (COPS)

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