Body of poker player Susie Zhao found in parking lot burnt after she moved in with her parents to 'confront challenges in her personal life'
The burnt body remains of a professional poker player, Susie Zhao, 33, has been discovered in a remote Michigan parking lot, after he recently relocated from Las Vegas to live with her parents in Michigan to 'confront challenges in her personal life'.
Susie Zhao a very talented poker player easily won tens of thousands of dollars while playing poker and is believed to have won $224,671 over her career.
Her badly burned body was found by a local resident in the wooded area at 8:30am on July 13 in a parking lot near the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, on the outskirts of Detroit, according to the White Lake Township Police Department. She was last seen by her mother on July 12 at around 5.30pm.
The FBI believe she died some time after 11:45pm the previous night, and believe her job could be a motive for her killing. The FBI is also investigating whether her killer may be somebody she met locally and recently.
'You have to determine whether or not this is a coverup, or this may be some sort of retaliatory incident because of her profession,' said Detective Chris Hild, White Lake Township Police.
The White Lake Township Police Department has been investigating a mysterious death of a female subject who was badly burned,' police said in a statement.
'The body was discovered at a state land parking area on Maceday Lake Road and Cross Road within Two Lake Township on July 13, 2020, at 8.05am
Friends and family say they don't think the 'gentle' poker player had any enemies. They also believe her move back to Michigan had been driven by her inability to afford rent in Los Angeles, putting an end to her city-hopping lifestyle and placing a hold on her poker career.
'Friends said she had kept details of her life private.
She was the freest spirit, in the truest sense,' friend Meredith Rogowski said at a press conference, according to WCAX.
'She played by her own rules. She followed her dreams, absolutely brilliant.'
"She really was an excellent player. One of the best in LA at the level we played at the Commerce Casino and it’s the biggest poker room in the world,' fellow competitor and friend, Bart Hanson, told WXYZ.
'I never would have thought anyone would’ve wanted to do anything to her.
'She had such a great attitude and so much spirit. It's just awful.'
However, he adds that he feels it's unlikely that her poker career played any role in her death.
"It's hard to picture her having enemies,' her former roommate Yuval Bronshtein said adding that he was 'surprised, confused, and saddened' by her death.
'She was one of the bubbliest and most vivacious opponents I've ever had,' wrote fellow poker player Clayton Fletcher.
'She was a very strong player who also liked to have fun at the table. Do you remember her from our Day Five in 2015, @jeffplatt? I'm heartbroken reading this. RIP Suzie.'
According to the New York Post, an autopsy and toxicology results from the Oakland County Medical Examiner are pending.