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'It's hard to picture her having enemies'; National poker pro found dead in park

Posted at 12:36 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 15:56:40-04

The burned remains of a Michigan woman have been identified by authorities as Susie Zhao, 33. Zhao played poker on the national competitive circuit.

Zhao's body was discovered near a park in a Detroit suburb on July 13 around 8 a.m.

"The female subject was badly burned," according to a press release from White Lake Township Police.

"Surprised, confused, and saddened," said her former roommate Yuval Bronshtein. "It's hard to picture her having enemies."

Bronshtein said Zhao bounced between cities including Los Angeles and Vegas and recently moved back to Michigan to be with family to be with her parents and to confront challenges in her personal life.

She was an avid poker player and a national talent on the competitive circuit.

"She really was a excellent player," said Bart Hanson, a friend and poker rival. "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."

Authorities said a motive is unclear. The FBI is also assisting in the investigation.

"I never would have thought anyone would of wanted to do anything to her," Hanson said.

This story originally reported by Rudy Harper on wxyz.com.