Michigan Professional Poker Player Bound, Tortured and Set On Fire
This story sounds like something you would see on Forensic Files but the tale of a professional poker player being bound, tortured and set on fire happened here in Michigan.
The world of poker can be very dangerous and many thought the death of professional poker player Susie Zhao may somehow be related to how she made a living. From what police have uncovered, this may not be the case but something more sinister.
According to FOX 17, White Lake Township police were contacted July 13 at 8:05 about a burned body located in a secluded part of Pontiac Lake Park in Oakland County.
The only way Zhao could be identified was by using her finger prints. Apparently she had been bound with zip ties, sexually assaulted with a large object then lit on fire until her death.
You would think with Zhao's occupation of poker playing in Las Vegas that maybe she made one too many gamblers angry or one that may have felt cheated may have been the person who may have committed such a heinous crime. This is where the story takes a different turn.
Previously Zhao had been living in Los Angeles and Las Vegas but recently had moved back to Michigan in June.
According to court documents stating that cell phone records shown Zhao met with a man by the name of Jeffery Morris the day before she was found dead.
While in custody, Morris said he picked her up and they went to a motel. Morris then went to grab some booze then returned to the motel.
Morris told authorities, "she took all of her belongings including her cell phone with her at midnight."
That statement from Morris is what got him into trouble, because investigators used Zhao's cell phone records to track the movement of the phone and those records told a different story.
Cell phone records show that the phone did not leave until 5 a.m. where surveillance footage show Morris leaving the motel then driving to the park.
Since then, police and FBI have located Morris' vehicle and have found evidence that includes footwear impressions, hairs, fibers and other items like a bed sheet and a baseball bat with possible blood stains.
The evidence and alleged murder are still under investigation.
The evidence thus far points to Morris who is already a convicted sex offender.