A former police officer turned security guard has been arrested in connection to the murders of two women. Steven M Zelich, 52 was arrested in West Alis, Wisconsin on Wednesday, and at 4:00 a.m. he was transferred to the Walworth County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of hiding the corpses of his victims.
Zelich’s arrest came after a maintenance worker discovered two suitcases that held decomposed dead bodies. The worker was mowing the lawn on North Como Road about a half of a mile north of County Road H, near Geneva, Wisconsin when he came across the two suitcases.
To see the criminal complaint, click on the following link-
Homicide charges are expected to be filed shortly in the two locations of the victims’ hometowns. One of these charges will be filed for victim Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington Minnesota. Simonson was identified by a heart shaped tattoo and this identification was substantiated by matching her dental records to the corpse. Simonson’s body had a rope around the neck and a ball-gag in her mouth attached to a collar.
The other victim has not yet been identified. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has issued an alert asking for the help of the public in identifying her. Identification will be tough since victim “Jane Doe,” like Simonson, was cut into pieces and stuffed in a suitcase, and both bodies were decomposed. Jane Doe is estimated to have been anywhere from 15 to 35 years old, with long straight dark brown or black hair. She was anywhere from 5 foot 2 inches to 5 foot 4 inches tall, and she weighed between 120 to 140 lbs. Zelich has said that he killed her in Kenosha County Wisconsin in late 2012 or early 2013 after meeting her online. He said it may have been on a bondage website, but apparently doesn’t remember the specific online meeting place. Jane Doe had her arms tied behind her back and had been stuffed into a garbage bag inside of a suitcase when she was found.
Zelich has admitted that he met both women on the internet. Zelich frequented S & M sites, but it is also known that Simonson could be reached via an advertisement for escort services listed on Craig’s List. Craig’s List, as well as sites like BackPage.com, have been the subject of repeated complaints after it was found that they advertised prostitution and women have been murdered after advertising on their sites.
Police say that Zelich has been their main suspect for quite a while, and that they had knowledge that Zelich took Simonson to the Microtel Inn and Suites shortly after her family reported her missing on November 22, 2013. It is believed that this hotel was the site of her murder, because he checked in with her, but left the hotel alone. Even though police knew this information, before the trucker’s gruesome discovery of the bodies on June 5th, they had only had Missing Persons cases for these two women, rather than a Homicide Investigation.
Zelich has been on law enforcement radar for quite a while. He was forced to resign from the West Alis Police Department in 2001, after a prostitute told police Zelich had stolen money from her. Since then, he has been posting on multiple Sado- Masochistic (S & M,) websites, openly claiming that he was looking for a women who he could enslave, even more specifically, Zelich stated that he wanted to hold a woman in captivity in an animalistic capacity within a farm-like environment.
Zelich has admitted that he caused the death of both of these women, and that after he killed them, he moved their bodies back and forth between his home and his vehicle for a period of months.
Police searched Zelich’s home at 8011 West Lincoln Avenue in West Allis, Wisconsin on Wednesday. The search went on for more than eight hours, during which law enforcement officers dressed in Hazmat suits carried out bags of potential evidence, as well as Zelich’s refrigerator.
The current two charges of “Hiding a Corpse” can result in sentences of not more than ten years in prison and not more than $25,000 in fines. It is hoped that prosecutors will be successful in the ensuing homicide charges so that Zelich can be put away for life.
In addition, police say that Zelich is part of an ongoing investigation to ascertain if he may be responsible for the deaths of other missing women.
If you found this article to be of interest, please click on “Subscribe,” underneath the title of the article to receive free automatic email updates when this author writes again.