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Woman in suitcase identified, man in custody

Simonson (click for larger version)

Artist rendering of unidentified person (click for larger version)

June 25, 2014 | 05:46 PM
GENEVA — One of the women found inside of suitcase on June 5 along North Como Road has been identified, and a 52-year-old West Allis man has been taken into custody.

Steven M. Zelich, 52, was taken into custody on Wednesday in connection with the death investigation. Zelich is reportedly a former West Allis Police Officer, according to reports by WTMJ-TV and WISN-TV.

He is in the Walworth County jail and is being held on two counts of hiding a corpse.

The victim has been identified as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minn. Simonson was reported missing by her mother on November 22, 2013.

Click here to read the press release

Police have not been able to identify the second victim and is seeking the public's assistance.

"She is described as possibly Caucasian, between the ages of 15 to 35, height 5'2" to 5'4", weight 120 - 140 pounds with long, straight dark brown or black hair. She has a pronounced overbite and crooked lower teeth, two piercings in each ear, and a quarter sized heart tattoo on the lower left abdomen/pelvic area," according to a town of Geneva press release.

Click here to read the press release on the unidentified person

The West Allis Police Department is assisting in the investigation and Geneva Township Police Chief Steven Hurley would like to assure the citizens of West Allis that there is no danger, the press release states.

The following agencies have been involved with this ongoing investigation: the town of Geneva Police Department, the Walworth County Sheriff's Office, the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigations, the State of Wisconsin Crime Lab, FBI divisions in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, the Rochester Minnesota Police Department, the Farmington Minnesota Police Department, the State of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the West Allis Police Department.

"This investigation continues and updates will be released as they become available," the press release states.


At about 3 p.m. on June 5 employees with the town of Geneva Highway Department were cutting the grass along North Como Road, near County Highway H.

"One of the highway employees observed two suitcases in long grass in the ditch area," according to a June 6 press release. "The suitcases were placed at the side of the road to allow the grass to be cut."

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A citizen called to report the suitcases sitting along the side of the road.

"Officers responded to the location and after opening the suitcases discovered two bodies, one in each suitcase," the press release states. Autopsies were conducted by the Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office.

The only results that have been released from that autopsy is that the two bodies were females.

"At this time we are working with law enforcement agencies reviewing missing person's reports," according to the press release from the town of Geneva police.

The press release also states that the crime didn't occur where the bodies were located.

Anyone that may have additional information should contact the town of Geneva Police Department at (262) 248-9926. Individuals can anonymously email their Tip: https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1192, Text their Tip to "CRIMES" (274637) and begin your message with tip4wc followed by your tip, or report the tip to the Walworth County Crime Stoppers 262-723-2677 (COPS).

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