'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. 


Ben Henry

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