Police Hold 60 Year Old Suspect in connection with Susie Zhao's Death6 months ago
Authorities in Oakland County, Michigan, have announced the arrest of a suspect in the horrific murder of poker player and commentator Shu “Suzie Q” Zhao, whose charred body was found inside a car parked near an Oakland County nature preserve on July 22.
In announcing the arrest, which occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, August 1, an Oakland County press spokesman declined to identify the suspect by name, instead referring to him as a 60-year-old male. However, an enterprising internet detective who searched Oakland County arrest and inmate records quickly deduced the arrested man’s identity: Jeffery Bernard Morris, of Pontiac, one of the largest outer Detroit suburbs comprising most of Oakland County.
Posting as “Forum Wars” on the PokerFraudAlert forums, a poster offered an image obtained from the Oakland County inmate records database, which is available online. The image showed a mug shot of Morris, his age (60) and date of arrest (August 1), which was sadly the same day as the 33-year-old Zhao’s funeral.
This writer verified the authenticity of Morris’s arrest, while also determining that only two 60-year-old men were arrested in all of Oakland County on Saturday, and the other one was for a misdemeanor alcohol violation, leaving only Morris to fit the department’s description of the arrested suspect.
Morris remains jailed as of late Monday night and has yet to be formally arraigned while investigators continue compiling evidence. Either the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office or the Pontiac Police Department is likely to release a statement once Morris is arraigned, and that statement should offer at least some info on the developing investigation. There appear to be no obvious links between Morris and Zhao, who had returned to live with family near Pontiac just weeks before her murder after having resided in Los Angeles for several years.
Morris has a troubled past as well. Among five known arrests, his most serious brush with the law appears to be a 1989 conviction for a “Tier 3” sexual offense. The heightened offense tier covers sex crimes involving force and coercion, including both rape and possible offenses against minors under age 13. Morris is a registered sex offender and is required to check in with authorities for life, which has included time at several residences in the Pontiac and Flint areas, as well as a stay in Florida during the middle of the last decade.
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