Man convicted of killing women, dumping bodies in suitcases sentenced
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Steven Zelich has been sentenced to 10 years on two counts of hiding a corpse. Family members of the victims were visibly shaken hearing the gruesome details of the crimes.
The sentence is in addition to the 60 years that he's already serving for killing Jenny Gamez and Laura Simonson.
Zelich showed no emotion in court as family members gave tearful victim impact statements.
The Walworth County District Attorney says Zelich treated the women's bodies like trash by crumpling them in suitcases and throwing them on the side of the road back in 2013.
Their bodies were decomposed beyond recognition and dental records had to be used to identify them.
Family members from both victims called Zelich a monster and said he acted like God.
"I am heartbroken, lost and devastated. My mother aches for the daughter she lost. She constantly wonders what if. What if I did this or what if I did that. Would that have saved Laura from this monster. It won’t bring back Laura and Jenny, but it will give our families peace of mind that this monster can never prey on women again," said Niki Carlson, Laura Simonson's sister.
Although the judge acknowledged that Zelich did cooperate with authorities, he still deserved the maximum sentence for both counts.
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Friday marks the final chapter in the suitcase killings.
Steven Zelich will be sentenced Friday afternoon in Walworth County for two counts of hiding a corpse.
The former West Allis Police Officer admitted to killing Laura Simonson and Jenny Gamez on separate occasions during what Zelich described as dangerous sex play in hotel rooms. Their bodies were found in suitcases by a Walworth County Highway Crew in June of 2014.
Zelich is already serving a 60-year-sentence for the crimes.
Below is a timeline of events in the case:
2012: According to the criminal complaint, Zelich met 19-year-old Jenny Gamez online. She came from Oregon to Wisconsin to meet Zelich and he killed her in a hotel room in Kenosha by choking her during sex.
2013: Zelich killed 37-year-old Laura Simonson in a hotel in Minnesota in a similar fashion
2014: Zelich admitted to police he kept the bodies at his West Allis home in a refrigerator and in his car. He eventually put both bodies in a suitcase and dumped them on a rural road in Walworth County where they were found in June of 2014.
March 2016: Zelich was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for Gomez’ death.
February 2017: Zelich was sentenced to an additional 25 years for killing Simonson.
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