|“||This is awkward for me, too. I never wanted to investigate the team who'd given me a chance despite my past.||„|
Michelle Zuria (also known as "X"; 1971–2016), appearing as a main character in Season 3 of Criminal Case, served as the Informant of the Bureau and one of the three partners assigned to the player until her death in The King's Shadow (Case #48 of World Edition).
Prior to her officially joining the agency, she appeared as a suspect in three murder investigations, as well as appearing as a quasi-suspect in two other cases and helping out the agency in three more.
Specialized in law, Michelle was 45 years old and had long, curly brown hair. She sported red lipstick, purple eyeshadow, and red nail polish. She donned a white shirt with gray suspenders, two pearl necklaces, and a pearl earring on her left ear. In her Bureau uniform, her hair was parted to her left shoulder, while she was seen wearing two identical necklaces with red and blue-colored beads, a pair of pearl earrings, and lastly a Bureau badge on the right side of her shirt. The uniform also involved her suspenders changing to blue in color. It is known that her family moved to the United States when she was 12.
In her first suspect appearance in A Stab in the Dark, it is known that Michelle ate durian fruit, practiced silat, and drank Singapore Sling.
In her second suspect appearance in Six Feet Down Under, it is discovered that she ate veggiemite, drank Shiraz, and scuba dove.
In her third suspect appearance in Out of the Blue, it is revealed that she knew Krav Maga and used sunscreen and Morse.
At the time of her death, it is noted that she liked wine.
Events of Criminal Case
Involvement in Oceania
After the Bureau arrested Thanid Tongproh's killer, Michelle sent Elliot a message via their satellite that they should look into Thanid's past to get a lead about SOMBRA, only identifying herself as "X". Later, she sent another anonymous message to them, telling them to go meet her in Singapore for more information about SOMBRA's "next level" program.
Carmen and the player came to Singapore to speak with her (as she advised) regarding information about SOMBRA's "next level" program, but then Michelle received a phone call from one of her clients, Anbu Devanesan, who said that a woman was dead in the Giant Cabin. She immediately went to the scene of the crime to meet up with her client.
She was first interrogated about the victim after she refused to let the team interrogate her client for information. Michelle said she only knew Constance because she dated Anbu. She also said that the victim was the CEO of a financial company and felt she ran it well, but doubted her client's words when he said she had no enemies.
Later on, she came on the rooftop to take Anbu away after Carmen and the player stopped him from jumping off the building. She then told the team not to pester him any further.
Michelle was interrogated again about a recorded argument she had with the victim, where Constance said she did not want her to be Anbu's lawyer. She said the victim knew about some of Michelle's past clients and said she lacked ethics, which Michelle did not like. When Carmen asked what the victim learned, Michelle said that Constance learned that she would defend anyone for money, but she said the victim did not understand how a lawyer works.
Michelle was found to be innocent after the team incarcerated Anbu Devanesan for Constance's murder. Before they could arrest him, however, he managed to escape holding Elliot hostage. Hoping to get more information about her client, Marina and the player spoke with Michelle again. She said that she had suspicions after seeing the word SOMBRA in one of Anbu's files, but did not want to ask about it. When told of Anbu's money laundering scheme, she said she did not know anything about it; she knew that he gave money to charity, helping orphans get to the "next level". She also said Anbu hid something back at the observation cabin, but he never had the chance to tell her what it was, prompting the player and Marina to search there.
As X, Michelle gave Elliot the coordinates to a SOMBRA camp in an Indonesian island so Jack and the player could proceed in their investigation into Riaja Somalinggi's murder. Later, the camp proved to be one used to genetically enhance SOMBRA's recruits.
Later, Carmen and the player found a message from Riaja telling Baxter Fraser to meet her in a certain location. However, the name of the place was cut off by the message ending. Michelle sent a tip as X, stating the word "Aotearoa", the Maori name for New Zealand so the team could head there to meet Baxter.
In New Zealand, after Jackson Peters's killer was arrested, the team found out that SOMBRA was sending their recruits all over the world for an unknown reason from Bronwyn Peters. Michelle, as X, later sent them a tip that a SOMBRA recruit was spotted wreaking havoc in a Sydney harbor, prompting the team to go there.
Michelle became a suspect again after the player and Carmen found her watch near the shipwreck on the victim's property. She explained the victim contacted her to do some private legal consulting, asking her to do an audit of his assets. Carmen believed it was a coincidence that he hired her, then turned up dead shortly thereafter, but Michelle was convinced they had nothing on her.
As X, Michelle told Elliot that the shipwreck in Rufus Murlock's property belonged to SOMBRA, explaining why records on it were scarce.
Michelle was interrogated again about her fingerprints being found on a bomb at the shipwreck. Despite the evidence against her, Michelle did not say anything since the bomb did not go off. Carmen pointed out her supposedly coincidental links to SOMBRA when they first met, but Michelle kept dodging the question and refused to answer anything. So Carmen and the player decided to take her into custody under the charge of attempted arson.
Despite the suspicion towards her, Michelle was found to be innocent afternoon the team incarcerated Veronica Salter for Rufus' murder. However, they decided to try again to get any useful info out of Michelle about SOMBRA. Once again, she refused to tell them anything but ensured them whatever was down there was still safe. Carmen said she would eventually talk, but Michelle said they had to release her since they had no real charges to put on her, much to Carmen's dismay.
As X, Michelle encouraged the team as they were unsure whether they were going to the right place when they were sailing to SOMBRA's uncharted island. However, when Jack and the player stepped off onto the island, she stopped responding to Elliot's messages as X.
Michelle became a suspect for the third time after the player and Jack found her message to the victim on a picture which said he will pay with his life. She was surprised to see them there, as was Jack to see her there and immediately told her to confess to her links to SOMBRA. When informed of Marshall's murder, she said she knew he would complicate things but admitted to threatening him. However, she had no idea who he spoke to or what he gained from it, but she warned him that SOMBRA did not take kindly to strangers.
Michelle was interrogated again about her fingerprints being found on the crystal containing the same poison that killed Marshall. She explained she was trying to take away the crystals from him because the victim was insane, becoming a danger to himself and everyone else. Jack pointed out it just made it all the more reason for her to silence him, but Michelle said she wanted to make sure no one was harmed by Marshall, not even Marshall himself.
Michelle was found to be innocent after the team incarcerated Brice LeBeau for Marshall's murder. However, she wanted to speak to the player, and she then revealed to the player that she was their informant, X. Jack, however, had a tough time believing her since X pointed to her in Singapore, but Michelle insisted she really was X. To prove it, Michelle suggested they go to the lab and find the messages she sent them as X. They ended up finding a USB key, and Elliot found the exact messages that X sent to them. She said she betrayed SOMBRA because she refused to defend them for their experimenting on orphans. When Jack brought up the shipwreck she tried to destroy, Michelle said she purposely sabotaged the bomb so the player could find the documents. In the end, due to her revealing several of SOMBRA's secrets, Chief Ripley decided to keep Michelle close by.
Helping the Bureau in Africa
On the plane to Kenya, Michelle told Chief Ripley and the rest of the team that the assassins were most probably spread all throughout Africa instead of being concentrated in Kenya.
After Jakobo Nkosi's murder was solved, Michelle told Carmen and the player that SOMBRA used shortwave radio transmissions in order to send encrypted instructions to their assassins. After that, the assassins would decipher them and carry out the orders. Michelle told them to find a device that would receive the radio waves so that she could interpret the message.
Michelle then helped Elliot decipher the instructions received by the device Carmen and the player found in the US embassy. The message was a loop of a series of four names (Fabrice Kabila, Gordon Davidson, Lavinia De Brills, and Terrance Zimmerman) followed by the word "contact". However, none of the names were familiar to Michelle.
After Nyota Adhiambo had been arrested for Kariuki Maina's murder, Michelle accompanied the player while they talked to Elliot per his request. Elliot said that the SOMBRA member within the Bureau used the satellite to send a message to the criminal organization. They then ripped a part out of the ground control unit used to communicate with the satellite in order to prevent Elliot from reading it. She and the player found the missing part in the savanna. She would later help Elliot decipher the mole's message, stating that it was both a warning that the mole's cover had been blown and that it was a suggestion to send an assassin after Prince Abioye in South Africa.
In the beginning of the case, Chief Ripley sent Michelle, Jack, and the player to a Zulu village to search for Prince Abioye. In the village, the trio found a dead person, who Michelle identified as Kayla Pieterse, a SOMBRA assassin.
After Olivier Feraud's trial, Michelle and the player later went to the Victoria Falls after Goodwill Ngele told them that a person in a raincoat tried to throw a file folder into the falls. They found the folder, which belonged to the Bureau mole. Per Elliot, the folder showed that the mole was in the Bureau since Europe and that it contained dossiers on every Bureau member except Marina. She and the player went to interrogate Marina, who denied being the mole. Afterwards, Michelle promised to keep her eye on Marina.
After arresting Nomena Leroy's killer, Jack and the player continued to look for the smuggled diamonds. Once they found the briefcase the diamonds were kept in, and that they were no longer there, Michelle said that she could help find them. She explained that all SOMBRA operatives are trained to avoid suspicion at all costs and that whoever retrieved the diamonds were aware it was too hot to move them out of Mazunda right then and there. She suspected they would use a location where they would be hidden until another agent would retrieve them, and requested some time to find a likely drop point. Jack kept doubting her, but Michelle said they were going to have to trust her if they wanted to find the diamonds.
Michelle reported that the local authorities found shipments of diamonds with traces of paint on them. She suspected the drop point was the art gallery and went along with the player to locate the diamonds. There, they found an African mask, and the person who placed it there was rally driver Thomas Moulin. He said he was ordered to move the diamonds by Lavinia De Brills, who promised to restore his career if he did. Thomas also said Lavinia told him her contact within the Bureau would collect them, which meant Lavinia knew the identity of the mole within the Bureau. However, by the time they returned, Carmen came in and stated that Lavinia was murdered.
Pre-investigation, Ingrid issued a code-red emergency. She said that Michelle would be investigating the murder because she was not with the team long enough to be the mole and so that the investigation would not be clouded by bias and emotions. She then proceeded to promote Michelle as an official member of the Bureau.
Mid-investigation, the mole freed Aristide Akintola, the gunman hired by SOMBRA to kill the people on the plane to Kenya, who proceeded to kidnap Carmen and use her as bait to lure the player into a trap. Ingrid then requested Michelle, Jonah, and the player to Abuja in order to save Carmen. There, Jonah was able to kill Aristide before anyone got hurt.
In the end, Michelle and the player were able to find enough evidence to arrest Angela for the murder of Lavinia.
When the team arrived in Argentina, Michelle partnered with the player throughout the murder investigation of Ernesto Cárpena. She later encountered Ignacio Muñoz in the investigation. She said she had encountered him before, that he worked with anyone who paid him with antiques, and that she despised him. Ignacio was seen commenting on her change of loyalty when he was first spoken to, to which she angrily replied by telling him to mind his own business.
After arresting Lorena Pratx for his murder, Jack and the player spoke with her regarding a SOMBRA operative going by the name of "El Rey". She was shocked to hear that name since he was an apparent myth that even those high in SOMBRA's ranks feared, and who no one has ever seen. According to the myths, El Rey was supposedly the one controlling SOMBRA, despite the fact that having one leader would be considered too risky. Since he was mentioned in a note, that implied he was no myth, and the team was well aware of who they were after now.
Michelle was found at Campanilla's bell tower crushed by a bell. The team discovered at the crime scene that the rope suspending the bell was deliberately cut by the killer to perform the hit. Grace confirmed that Michelle was killed after being crushed by the bell, labeling it as the murder weapon. As the killer did not make any direct contact with Michelle, Grace could not find forensic leads, but she found a piece of paper in Michelle's pocket. The paper was a page from Ernesto Cárpena's book Rayuela de Ficciones, specifically the chapter "For Whom the Bell Falls", where a character was killed the same way Michelle was. This meant the killer read Rayuela de Ficciones.
Relationship with suspects
(Ex-)MI6 spy George Pryce kept tabs on Michelle as she was ex-SOMBRA because he wanted to learn more about SOMBRA to bring them down. Ignacio was revealed to have joined SOMBRA to get close to her and had been following Michelle ever since the Bureau left Argentina, angering her. Doña Amarga, Michelle's childhood governess who took care of her while her father was stationed in South America, possibly indoctrinated her into SOMBRA in her youth. Michelle had also defended jazz musician Arsenio Castillo in a former case.
Killer and motives
The killer, and by extension "El Rey", turned out to be Arsenio.
After trying to deny involvement, Arsenio admitted to the murder and being "El Rey", SOMBRA's leader. Arsenio said that he had killed Michelle because she had betrayed SOMBRA by providing information as X and then joining the Bureau as an agent. After Judge Adaku sentenced him to life in prison under maximum security, Arsenio said that he had already finished all the plotting he needed.
The player may choose Michelle to join the investigation of each crime scene (in any World Edition case she teams up with the player) and provide hint bonuses. She is available as a 1-hint, level-10 partner.
- Michelle is one of the suspects to appear in three cases.
- She is also one of the suspects to appear in two consecutive cases.
- Michelle is one of the characters to appear as a quasi-suspect thrice.
- Michelle and Jonah are the only Bureau members to appear as a suspect prior to joining the team.
- According to Michelle's old business card found in The King's Shadow, her phone number is +3626 986 12237 and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Death Match (Case #31 of World Edition; mentioned)
- A Stab in the Dark (Case #32 of World Edition)
- The Sweet Escape (Case #33 of World Edition; mentioned)
- Speak, Friend, and Die (Case #34 of World Edition; mentioned)
- Six Feet Down Under (Case #35 of World Edition)
- Out of the Blue (Case #36 of World Edition)
- Crash and Burn (Case #37 of World Edition)
- The Circle of Death (Case #38 of World Edition)
- Kicking the Bucket (Case #39 of World Edition)
- Diamond in the Rough (Case #40 of World Edition)
- Going the Distance (Case #41 of World Edition)
- In Plain Sight (Case #42 of World Edition)
- Ice Rage (Case #43 of World Edition)
- Murder, He Wrote (Case #44 of World Edition)
- Shadow Nation (Case #45 of World Edition)
- Total Eclipse of the Heart (Case #46 of World Edition)
- Cheaters Never Win (Case #47 of World Edition)
- The King's Shadow (Case #48 of World Edition)
- Day of the Dead (Case #49 of World Edition; mentioned)
- Down to the Wire (Case #55 of World Edition; mentioned)