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Oregon Woman Found Dead in Suitcase

Jenny Gamez, from 2010 Oakridge High School Track Meet

Jenny Gamez, from 2010 Oakridge High School Track Meet

GENEVA, Wisc. — Walworth County Sheriff’s Office confirms Jenny Gamez from Oregon, as the second victim in a murder investigation involving a former police officer and bodies stuffed into suitcases, according to ABC affiliate station WISN.

WISN says Jenny Gamez of Cottage Grove, Oregon would’ve been 19 when she is believed to have been killed. They said there are no murder charges yet.

Gamez graduated from Oakridge High School. Her foster mother said Gamez then moved to Cottage Grove to live with her foster father, and disappeared in 2012.

Former police officer, 52-year-old Steven Zelich, appeared in a Walworth County, Wisconsin courtroom Friday, where a judge charged him with hiding a corpse, and ordered him held on a $1 million bond.

Zelich is suspected of killing two women and hiding their bodies in suitcases. His lawyer said the deaths may have been accidental during consensual sex.

Investigators said the victims were found stuffed in suitcases along a road in Geneva, Wisconsin. One of the victims, identified as 37-year-old Laura Simonson, was found naked with a rope around her neck and a sexual ball gag in her mouth. The other victim, who investigators now say is Gamez, was also found naked with her hands tied behind her.

Zelich told investigators he met the first victim, in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, where he killed her, stuffed her body into a suitcase, then back to his apartment. Detectives said Zelich told them months after the first incident, he met Simonson in a Minnesota hotel, and traveled back to Wisconsin with her body in a suitcase.

Back in Oregon, Cottage Grove Police said officers searched Gamez’ foster father’s home, but didn’t obtain any evidence.

Gamez’ foster mother said she was told by investigators Zelich met his victims on an online dating website, and that sexually-deviant content was found on Gamez’ computer.

Watch KEZI 9 News tonight at 5 and 6 p.m. for more on this developing story.

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