The search for Zuzu Verk may have taken a tragic turn on Friday when authorities in a small Texas town announced that they found human remains during a search for the missing 22-year-old.
Now attention is turning to the woman’s boyfriend, Robert Fabian, who had been named a suspect in her disappearance.
Police in the town of Alpine reported that they found human remains in a shallow grave in Sunny Glen, an area northwest of the town, People reported. The remains have been sent for identification, and there was no word yet on whether the body found is that of Zuzu Verk.
“Texas Rangers have arrived on scene and are currently processing evidence at the scene,” the Alpine police department noted in a post on Facebook. “Brewster County Sheriffs personnel along with Alpine Police are assisting. The evidence collection and processing may take several days. The remains are expected to be taken to University of North Texas on Monday for identification.”
The report did not note how long it might take before the remains were positively identified.
Zuzu Verk has been missing since mid-October, when Fabian first reported her missing. Two weeks after Verk went missing, police declared that Fabian was a suspect and he did not speak to a grand jury about her disappearance when questioned about his version of events, KOSA-TV reported.
Verk was last seen on October 11, when she and Fabian went on a day to the movies, NBC News reported. Verk was in contact with friends and family members until the next day, but shortly after they were unable to contact her.
— CRIMEWATCHERS (@Kimster_CW) February 3, 2017
The update that Zuzu Verk’s body may have been found brought a spotlight back onto Robert Fabian. In the weeks after the college student’s disappearance, witnesses came forward to say that they heard what may have been the couple’s final fight.
“That night, we heard arguing,” John Franco, a student who lives below Fabian in an apartment complex across from Sul Ross State University, told WFAA. “I can hear him pacing back and forth, in the kitchen, living room, all around, all around.”
Later that night, a loud noise awoke Franco and his girlfriend.
“Going down the stairs, we heard a loud thump. This is around 4 in the morning,” said Franco. “I only wish we had done something.”
Shortly after Zuzu Verk was declared missing, her family members moved to Alpine to help participate in search efforts. They immediately noted that the woman’s on-again off-again boyfriend was nowhere to be seen.
“I drove all night as soon as I heard Zuzu was missing, and when I got there, a search was already in progress,” her father, Glenn Verk, told Fox News. “Everyone wanted to help, but he [Robert Fabian] wasn’t there.”
In the days and weeks that followed her initial disappearance, family members said they clung to the hope that Zuzu might still be found.
“It’s like you go through the stages of both: having hope that she’s OK, and grieving the unknown at the same time. It just tears you up inside,” Glenn told Dateline (via NBC News).
— infowe (@infowe) February 4, 2017
As the search stretched on for weeks and even months, Verk’s disappearance gained national attention and many shared her picture and information about her disappearance online to spread the word.
The news that Verk’s body may have been found also drew many reactions online, from relief that the search might be over and that her family might find some closure to grief over what appeared to be a young life cut short.
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Zuzu Verk is asked to call the Alpine Police Department at (432) 837-3486.
[Featured Image by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]