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'Suitcase Killer' in Rochester Court Thursday Morning

November 03, 2016 09:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) - A man known as the "Suitcase Killer", who is already serving a 35-year prison sentence for the 2012 death of a woman in Oregon, made his first appearance in Olmsted County Court Thursday morning.

Back in January, Steven Zelich pleaded guilty in Wisconsin to reckless homicide and hiding a corpse. In 2014, the body of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez was found in a suitcase alongside a Wisconsin Highway.

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Zelich is now in Rochester for the alleged murder of Laura Simonson, who was allegedly killed at Rochester hotel in early November of 2013. Her body was also discovered in a suitcase, alongside Gamez's.

"It's certainly one of the strangest sets of circumstances that I've ever seen. I mean some really weird things happened and it's tragic that a young lady was killed," said Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem.

Zelich, a former Wisconsin police officer, has maintained his innocence says both deaths were accidental and happened during rough, yet consensual, sex. Zelich's next court appearance is set for January 3rd 2017. 


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Ben Henry

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