Professional poker player was tortured before she was murdered, sources say

60-year-old suspect in police custody

New details reveal the 33-year-old woman tortured before she was killed in July. For more information,

WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Sources say a 33-year-old professional poker player was tortured before she was murdered.

Susie Zhao’s body was found badly burned on July 13 near the Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area. Zhao recently moved from California to Michigan.

READ: Police release details in murder of woman found burned in White Lake Township

A Jeffery Bernard Morris, 60, is charged in connection to the murder. He’s being held without bond, charged with premeditated murder.

The night before Zhao’s remains were found, sources said Zhao met Morris at an area motel. It is believed that Zhao’s cell records put Morris on investigator’s radar. White Lake Township police and an FBI task force tracked Morris and arrested him.

Sources said before Zhao was set on fire she was bound by zip ties. Investigators have tracked own video from a store of Morris buying zip ties.

After Zhao was restrained, sources said she was tortured and sexually assaulted with an object. She was set on fire while she was still alive.

READ: 60-year-old man charged in premeditated murder of woman found ‘badly burned’ in White Lake Township

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.