FBI Investigating Death of 'World Poker Tour' Star Susie Zhao After Gruesome Discovery in Michigan Park

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of 33-year-old Susie Zhao. The former World Poker Tour star's body was found "badly burned" in a park near Detroit, Michigan, according to Deadline.

Zhao, who played under the moniker of "Susie Q," one of the few female players to compete on the World Poker Tour, even playing in an event as recently as August 2019. Her body was discovered on July 13, and the White Lake Police Department opted to go public with her identity in hopes it will help solve the case. On Monday, the police even tweeted out a contact number along with a press release. Anyone with information regarding the matter was encouraged to call.

"We started looking into her past history over the course of the last few days before her death. At that point, we determined that we wanted the assistance of the FBI to assist us with some of their technology," a White Lake Township detective said at a news conference while again asking the public for help. "Even if you think it's something minute, we'll take any calls. We're looking into every lead, every possibility. Obviously when you're dealing with that type of profession you have [the] potential of owing debt and those are things that we're looking into."

Zhao was last seen alive on July 12, roughly 15 hours before her body was discovered. "You have to determine whether or not this is a cover-up, or this may be some sort of retaliatory incident because of her profession," Detective Chris Hild told WIFR. He also joined the calls of other investigators who are asking any possible witnesses to come forward. "We still are looking for anybody that may have seen or talked to Susie between Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. and early hours of Monday morning," added an unnamed official.

In the meantime, several of Zhao's friends and former competitors have taken to social media to pay their respects. On friend told the outlet that she "was a free spirit in the truest sense." She added that Zhao "played by her own rules" and "followed her dreams." Her lifetime earnings totaled $224,671 according to the Global Poker Index website.