White Lake Township Police Department has identified and confirmed the body of a badly burned woman found in the remote part of a Michigan park on July 13 as being professional poker player Susie Zhao.
The 33-year-old’s remains were discovered by a resident in a parking lot near the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area at around 8 a.m., according to WXYZ.
White Lake Township Police Department said Zhao was last seen by her mother at 5:30 p.m. on July 12.
Authorities have yet to release any specific details regarding the case. The FBI is also helping with the investigation.
“Surprised, confused, and saddened,” Zhao’s former roommate, Yuval Bronshtein, told WXYZ. “It’s hard to picture her having enemies.”
ONLY ON 7: Friends remember a 33-year-old Waterford Twp. woman after her burned remains were discovered in a wooded area by someone in the Pontiac Lake Rec. Area.
— Rudy Harper (@RudyHarperWXYZ) July 22, 2020
Zhao, a high stakes poker player who bounced between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, recently moved back to Michigan to live with her parents and “to confront challenges in her personal life.”.
Zhao had total earnings of $222,671 in her professional poker career, as listed in The Hendon Mob via Poker News. Most of her winnings came from competing in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2012, 2015 and 2017. She won $73,805 in the 2012 competition when she finished in 90th place.
“She really was an excellent player,” Zhao’s friend and rival poker player, Bart Hanson, said. “One of the best in L.A. at the level we played at the Commerce Casino and it’s the biggest poker room in the world.”
Those who may have information on Zhao’s whereabouts between July 11-13 or anything related that may help solve the case are urged to contact Detective Lt. Christopher Hild at (248) 698-4404, ext. 2381.
Feature Image via Susie Zhao