The case against a drifter charged with the gruesome murder of a former professional poker player has been referred back to the 52-2 District Court by the Oakland County Circuit Court for a possible preliminary investigation against an additional charge.

Jeffery Morris, 60, is a convicted sex offender charged last year with the murder of Susie “Susie Q” Zhao, 30, whose cremated remains were discovered on July 13, 2020 in a DNR parking lot in White Lake Township.

An autopsy revealed that Zhao was alive when she was set on fire and at least 90 percent of her body was burned. She was also sexually assaulted and had significant damage to her genital area.

Jeffery Morris

The case was brought to trial last September. On February 10, Judge Martha Anderson of the Oakland County Circuit Court referred the case to the lower court after the Oakland County District Attorney filed a criminal murder charge, according to assistant prosecutor David Williams. Crime murder kills someone while committing a crime.

Burned remains found

Passers-by found Susie Zhao’s burned remains in this DNR parking lot near Maceday and Cross Streets in White Lake Township on July 13, 2020.

Police have described Morris as a temporary homeless man with an extensive criminal record. His previous violations of the law included a 1989 Pontiac rape conviction. He and Zhao had reportedly been together at the Sherwood Motel in Waterford not long before the murder. According to the police, Zhao was known to visit the motel.

Zhao was part of the professional poker community that participated in the World Series of Poker Main Events. According to Herndon Mob, a poker database, she had a live winnings of $ 224,671.

Zhao’s Facebook page said she attended Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills and then studied psychology at Northwestern University. It is also said that she lived in Los Angeles and is originally from Beijing, China.

Sherwood Motel

The Sherwood Motel on Dixie Highway in Waterford, where Susie Zhao is known to frequent, according to police.

Police said Zhao moved back to Oakland County last June or earlier and occasionally lived with her parents in their Waterford Township home.

Morris is being held in Oakland County Jail. His next court date is still pending.


Bond set to $ 50,000 for a man charged with a fatal road accident

A Pontiac district judge has told a man charged in a fatal traffic accident that he must have $ 50,000 in cash or a bond by February 18.

Youngest probation officer charged with serial robberies in drugstores in the area

A 27-year-old Flint man recently released from prison is back in police custody as a suspect in a series of armed robberies and attacks …

An anonymous reference to alleged prostitution in Madison Heights last October finally revealed what authorities are calling human trafficking.

Sheriff: A man who plays with a gun kills himself if he accidentally shoots

A 50-year-old Auburn Hills man died in an accident after shooting himself in the head in Pontiac on Sunday afternoon.