It is unclear whether Susie Zhao and her alleged killer had any sort of relationship

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 06, 2020 03:28 PM
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Facebook; Oakland County Sheriff's Office

A 60-year-old man is accused of murdering a professional poker player he met at a motel.

On July 13, the body of Susie “Susie Q” Zhao, 33, was found burned at a trail head at Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area in White Lake Township, Michigan, according to The Detroit News. Two weeks later, homeless convicted sex offender Jeffery Bernard Morris, 60, of Pontiac, was arrested and charged with her murder, MLive reports.

"This is not the end of the investigation into Susie's death but the beginning of the pursuit of justice for her and her family," Detective Lt. Chris Hild told reporters, according to the News.

Zhao, a professional poker player, and Morris met at a Waterford Township motel the night before. She had stayed at the motel on several occasions prior to last month.

It is unclear whether Zhao and Morris had any sort of relationship. Authorities have not released a motive for Zhao's death but Hild did say it was not connected to her career.

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A month before her death, Zhao had moved from Los Angeles to Michigan to live with her mother.

On Tuesday, Morris was arraigned for first-degree premeditated murder. He has been denied bond and is set to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Aug. 18, according to the Mercury News.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online to tips.fbi.gov.