$1 million bail set for ex-cop accused of hiding bodies in suitcases

June 27, 2014 7:52 p.m. | Elkhorn — A Walworth County judge set bail at $1 million Friday for Steven M. Zelich, the former West Allis police officer accused of hiding the corpses of two women found in suitcases early this month near Lake Geneva.

Zelich's image was projected live on a television screen as he sat impassively during his first court appearance. He has been accused of hiding the two bodies — one of them for more than a year — putting them in suitcases, and dumping them on the side of a country road in the Town of Geneva June 5.

Although Zelich was not charged with homicide, Circuit Judge David M. Reddy set the high bail in light of Zelich's alleged confession Wednesday, when police say he told them that he killed the women and hid their bodies in his West Allis apartment. The high bail was necessary to ensure public safety and to prevent future intimidation of witnesses, the judge said.

Friday's hearing provided the first public glimpse of Zelich since he was arrested Wednesday morning at Johnson Controls in Glendale, where he worked as an employee of a private security firm. He was charged Thursday with two felony counts of hiding a corpse, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit during the 15-minute hearing, with his hands folded on a table and a guard standing behind him, Zelich showed no signs of emotion and barely moved, aside from twiddling his thumbs. He stared at the camera and listened attentively as District Attorney Daniel Necci described how Zelich told police he killed 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minn., and a second woman, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe.

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West Allis man arrested for connection to bodies found in suitcases

June 27, 2014 2:30 p.m. | A neighbor of the former West Allis cop accused of killing two woman and stuffing their bodies into a suitcase expressed shock at the brutal murders.

LeeRoy Wagner lives in a duplex around the corner from Steven Zelich's apartment building. He said he's spent his entire adult life living in that West Allis neighborhood.

"It's a terrible thing, really," he said. "You wonder how it can happen, you know?"

Zelich, 52, of West Allis, was taken into custody at his apartment in the 8000 block of W. Lincoln Avenue, according to a news release from Town of Geneva Police Chief Steven Hurley.

Wagner said in all the 37 years he's been living in the duplex, nothing like the crime Zelich is accused of committing ever happened.

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Man finds bullet in package of egg rolls

June 25, 2014 7:52 a.m. | A man was looking to take a bite out of an egg roll, but instead he chomped down a bullet June 19.

According to the Greenfield police report:

The man told police that his daughter bought an unopened package of egg rolls from Greenfield Pick 'n Save. He went to eat one about 6:30 a.m. June 19, but he bit into the bullet inside one.

The man confirmed that the packaging was still intact before he opened it. He told police there were no incidents around the house in the 9100 block of West Allerton Avenue in which a bullet could have become lodged in the food.

The man was advised to contact Pick 'n Save and the manufacturer of the egg rolls to report the incident.

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