Detective: Suspect said he killed 2, put in suitcases
ELKHORN -- Steven Zelich will head to trial in Walworth County.
A judge agreed in a preliminary hearing Thursday morning that there is probable cause to believe Zelich committed a crime. The hearing also revealed some gruesome details about what investigators found inside two suitcases left near the side of the road in the Town of Geneva.
"The first suitcase had an adult woman, she was naked, she had a gag ball in her mouth," said Detective Jeff Recknagel with the Walworth County Sheriff's Office. "The second person was also an adult female, she was wrapped in a plastic garbage bag."
Recknagel said Zelich told him he killed the women accidentally after separate sexual encounters that were rough and included bondage.
The bodies were identified earlier as Laura Simonson and Jenny Gamez - but they're not from Walworth County and detectives think they died somewhere else. That meant today the only relevant information was where the bodies were found and how they were found.
"He told me that he had been storing these bodies in the trunk of his vehicle and that the smell was so strong that he decided he had to get rid of them," Recknagel said.
Zelich's lawyer considered that a bogus argument and contested what "hidden" actually means.
"In this case we have two suitcases put along the side of the road just north of a police station and just south of a busy regional interchange of I-43 and Highway 12," said Travis Schwantes, Zelich's attorney.
The back and forth lasted nearly an hour, before the judge said enough.
"Apparently [the suitcases] were there for a few days," said Walworth County Judge Phillip Koss. "Nobody noticed them."
A jury will now decide Zelich's fate. His arraignment will take place on July 17.
Scroll through the photo gallery above to see scenes from the hearing