Wisconsin man questioned in connection with bodies found in suitcases

A 52-year-old Wisconsin man was taken into custody Thursday and is being questioned in connection with a pair of bodies found stuffed in suitcases along a sleepy state roadway, police said.

Steven Zelich, of West Allis, Wis., was detained Wednesday and is being questioned in connection with the deaths of the two women, whose bodies were found by police on June 5 along Lake Como Road in the town of Geneva, according to a police department release.


Police have identified one of the women as Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minn. Simonson was reported missing by her mother last November, police said.

Authorities were unable to identify the second woman, who was described as a white female between the ages of 15 and 35.

Police did not release a cause of death or describe what, if any, relationship existed between Zelich and the victims. Zelich had not been charged with a crime as of Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist told the Los Angeles Times that Simonson was last seen by friends in Farmington on Nov. 2. She was unemployed at the time of her disappearance, and parked her car at her mother's Farmington residence on Nov. 1, he said.

Police first described Simonson as a "potential vulnerable" adult when they made their search for the woman public. Lindquist said her family and friends had expressed concern about her mental stability after her disappearance.

"As reported to us by her family, they described her as having mental health issues and a prior drug use history," Lindquist said. "It was also described to us, through some of her friends, that she had stopped taking some prescriptions."

He declined to say if Simonson had made remarks about leaving town.

Shortly after the bodies were discovered in high grass alongside Lake Como, Geneva Police Chief Steven Hurley told The Times that he believed the incident marked the town's first homicide investigation.

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