Ex-Cop Charged with Homicide after Storing Human Remains in Suitcases

Steven M. Zelich

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – A former Wisconsin police officer says he killed a 19-year-old college student accidentally during rough sex by playing a choking game that went too far.

A criminal complaint filed in Kenosha County on Wednesday provides new details in the death of Jenny Gamez, a student from Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Fifty-two-year-old Steven M. Zelich is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

He told investigators Gamez’s death was accidental. But District Attorney Robert Zapf says it’s hard to believe Zelich killed two women accidentally.

Gamez’s body and that of 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minnesota, were found in suitcases left along a rural Wisconsin highway in June.

Investigators say Zelich told them Simonson died in November at a hotel in Rochester, Minnesota. No charges have been filed in Minnesota.

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