Evidence Shows Poker Player Was Burned Alive In Oakland County

Jeffery Morris was bound over for trial.

WWJ News
September 16, 2020 - 1:27 pm
Susie Zhao, professional poker player, killed by a sex offender

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(WWJ) Grisly new details emerged in court Wednesday as the Oakland County Deputy Medical Examiner says that professional poker player Susie Zhao was burned alive after being zip tied and sexually assaulted.

Dr. Andrew Hanosh testified in Oakland County Circuit Court in the case against Jeffery Morris and in the end Morris was bound over for trial.

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Hanosh said he found soot in Zhao's airway, which means she inhaled smoke while being burned alive.

Zhao's body was found by park visitors July 13 at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area.

Related: Police: Professional Poker Player Killed, Burned In Oakland County By Sex Criminal

Still mysterious is the relationship between Zhao and Morris. Investigators say phones records show they left a nearby motel together and traveled to the area where her body was found.

Zhao, 33, was living with her parents in Waterford earlier this summer after relocating from Los Angeles, and was last seen alive at about 5:30 p.m July 12. She identified herself on Twitter as a professional poker player and won $73,805 in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event. Her overall winnings were $224,671 in tournaments, per pokernews.com. 

Morris was caught near Interstate 275 and Michigan Avenue shortly after Zhao's body was found. He was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Oakland County in 1989.