Susie Zhao professional poker player found dead. Burned body of Waterford Township, Michigan woman remains a mystery a week after discovery in park.
Zhao, 33, of Waterford Township was last seen alive by her mother July 12 at 5:30 p.m., according to the White Lake Township Police Department.
Her badly burned body was found around 8:30 a.m. the next day in a parking lot near the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, on the outskirts of Detroit.
The professional card player lived between Los Angeles and Las Vegas but had recently moved back to Michigan to live with her parents and ‘confront challenges in her personal life,’ friends told WXYZ-TV.
It remained unclear what personal issues Zhao was confronting and if those ‘obstacles’ led to her death.
Please see the attached press release reference an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information, please call Det./Lt. Hild at 248-698-4404 ext. 2381. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/8beDaEjKQ6
— WLTPD (@WhiteLakePolice) July 20, 2020
Did she have enemies?
‘It’s hard to picture her having enemies,’ Zhao’s former roommate Yuval Bronshtein told the media outlet.
‘She went to her parents house. She couldn’t afford to live in LA anymore,’ Bronshtein added.
It remained unclear if the professional poker player had undergone a streak of ‘bad luck’ or ‘bad choices’ and may have owed sums on bad hands.
Police didn’t immediately release a cause of death and an autopsy and toxicology results from the Oakland County Medical Examiner are pending.
Zhao’s success at the card tables included walking away with more than $73,000 at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, where she placed 90th, according to PokerNews.com.
A poker data site ascribed Zhao winning $224,671 in tournament cash prizes over the course of her career.
‘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.’
Another fellow player, Clayton Fletcher, posted in a tweet that Zhao ‘was one of the bubbliest and most vivacious opponents I’ve ever had.’
‘She was a very strong player who also liked to have fun at the table,’ he wrote.
Cops are asking for anyone who may have seen Zhao between July 11 and 13 or has any information related to the investigation to call Detective Lt. Christopher Hild at 248-698-4404, ext. 2381.