Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

June 29, 2014

Bond set at $1M for ex-cop in suitcase deaths

ELKHORN, Wis. (AP) — Bond was set at $1 million on Friday for a former police officer suspected in the deaths of two women whose bodies were stuffed into suitcases and dumped along a rural Wisconsin highway.

Steven Zelich, a 52-year-old security officer, is charged with two counts of hiding a corpse. Walworth County prosecutors convinced a judge to set the high bond after saying they expected homicide charges to be filed in the counties where the women were killed.

But Zelich's attorney suggested the women may have died during accidents, perhaps during consensual sex. Investigators have said he met the two women online.

Zelich appeared for the hearing Friday through a video from jail but did not speak.

Zelich was arrested Wednesday, when detectives wearing hazmat suits removed a refrigerator and large brown bags of evidence from his apartment in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb.

Highway workers cutting grass discovered two suitcases on June 5. Police identified one woman as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minnesota. Authorities have not released the identity of the second woman but describe her as a white female with long, dark hair, a pronounced overbite and a small heart tattoo on her lower left abdomen.

Investigators allege that Zelich said he met both women online, killed them and stored their bodies in his home and vehicle for months before dropping the suitcases in the Town of Geneva, some 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee. He killed the unidentified woman in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, in late 2012 or early 2013 and Simonson in Rochester, Minnesota, in November, according to a criminal complaint.

Judge David Reddy accepted the prosecutor's request for a $1 million cash bond, noting that the most important thing was to protect the public.

Walworth County District Attorney Daniel Necci justified the request in part by saying he expected homicide charges to be filed in Kenosha County and Olmsted County, Minnesota, which includes Rochester.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Parole denied yet again for Lennon's killer NEW YORK (AP) — John Lennon’s killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, New York corrections officials said Friday.The decision on Mark David Chapman by a three-member board came after a hearing Wednesday,

    August 23, 2014

  • Honda Tougher Compact Car [Duplicate] Honda bolsters Fit to boost crash resistance DETROIT (AP) — When the subcompact Fit failed a crash test, Honda went back to the drawing board. The tiny Fit, redesigned for the 2015 model year, initially flunked the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap test, earning just a "Mar

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Body Cameras [Duplicate] Ferguson fallout: A call for police 'body cams' NEW YORK (AP) — What if Michael Brown's last moments had been recorded? The fatal police shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, is prompting calls for more officers to wear so-called body cameras, simple, lapel-mounted gadge

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Postal Service has 600 rural Indiana spots open INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service has openings for 600 part-time rural postal carriers across Indiana. The Postal Service announced the job openings Thursday in several ZIP Codes in the Greater Indiana District. It says interested applicant

    August 22, 2014

  • Police investigate bathtub death of Monticello boy MONTICELLO (AP) — State police say an investigation is underway into the death of a 5-year-old northern Indiana boy who reportedly was found not breathing in a bathtub. Sgt. Kim Riley says Ian Davidson died Thursday at an Indianapolis hospital, where

    August 22, 2014

  • Emmys-Robin Williams [Duplicate] Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billy Crystal will pay tribute to Robin Williams, his longtime friend and fellow comedian, at next week's Emmy Awards. Crystal will honor Williams as part of the traditional "in memoriam" segment for industry members who died durin

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slain journalist spent time with Indiana troops INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State extremist group had gone to Iraq with Indiana National Guard soldiers during a 2008 deployment. James Foley was embedded with members of the Indiana Guard's 76th Infantry Briga

    August 21, 2014

  • Hundreds attend vigil for missing SW Indiana women BOONVILLE (AP) — A few hundred people gathered at a prayer vigil for women missing in southwestern Indiana, including a 27-year-old mother of two children who was last seen nearly a week ago. Many in the crowd outside the Warrick County Courthouse in

    August 21, 2014

  • Missing American-Syria-6 [Duplicate] Slain American journalist remembered as driven ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — In 2011, just after James Foley was released from the Libyan prison where he'd been held for six weeks, he acknowledged the peril journalists face covering the world's most dangerous places, soberly conceding that a mistake cou

    August 21, 2014 7 Photos

  • Man rides stolen shopping scooter to probation meeting ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man is facing charges after police say he drove a stolen electric shopping cart to meet with his probation officer. KOAT-TV reports court papers say 18-year-old Michael Johnson rode the electric s

    August 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller