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Detective: Man said he killed 2, put in suitcases

Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:47:15 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 03 2014 05:24:49 PM CDT
ELKHORN, Wis. -

A detective in Walworth County says a former police officer told him that he killed two women during rough sex and then put their bodies in suitcases that he hid for months before dumping them on a rural road.

Walworth County Sheriff's Detective Jeffrey Recknagel testified Thursday during a preliminary hearing for 52-year-old Steven Zelich.

"He told me that he had been storing these bodies in the truck of his vehicle, and that the smell was so strong he decided that he had to get rid of them," Recknagel said. "He told me that one day he just decided that he was going to get rid of them so he drove into Walworth County, and then he placed those two suitcases into the ditch on Como Road."

Zelich is charged with two counts of hiding a corpse after the suitcases were found June 5, about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee. He was bound over for trial at Thursday's hearing.

The judge said the corpses were hidden with the intent to conceal a crime. He also said it's not logical that the deaths were accidental because it happened twice.

Walworth County authorities have said the women were killed elsewhere and they expect homicide charges to be filed in those other counties.

Recknagel said Zelich told him he killed the women accidentally after separate sexual encounters that were rough and included bondage.

Zelich's public defender has said the deaths may have been accidents.

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