Former cop charged with homicide in case of Oregon woman found in suitcase

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Jenny Gamez, 19, of Cottage Grove, Oregon, was killed in Wisconsin in 2012. Her body was found stuffed in a suitcase along a Wisconsin road in 2014.

KENOSHA, Wis. — Former West Allis, Wis., police officer Steven Zelich, who was arrested in the deaths of two women found stuffed in suitcases discovered along a rural Wisconsin road, was charged with first-degree homicide Tuesday in the death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez of Cottage Grove, Ore., the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

A Walworth County investigator told the court that Zelich, 52, said Gamez died during bondage and rough sex in a Kenosha hotel room in August 2012 and he took her body back to his West Allis apartment and kept her in his refrigerator for more than a year — until November 2013. He then used the suitcase Gamez brought to Kenosha from Oregon to transport her body earlier this year and leave it along a road.

The investigator said Zelich also said another woman, Laura Simonson, 34, of Minnesota, died in the same manner last year.  He left her body in her suitcase along the road, too.

Zelich reportedly said he had met the women online on a sadomasochistic dating website.

The investigator said Zelich admitted to him that he placed the two suitcases stuffed with the women’s bodies along a road in Geneva, Wis., a few days before they were found on June 5.

Officials had a difficult time in identifying Gamez because she had not been reported as missing, police said. She had told her family in Cottage Grove, Ore., that she was moving away and they thought she was simply getting on with her life.



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