Search Update: Seven state agencies continue to comb through area where remains were found

ALPINE -- Ground crews continue to comb through the area near Sunny Glenn, where unidentified human remains were found Friday morning.

Seven federal and state agencies are assisting with the search including the Texas Rangers, Texas DPS, Border Patrol and Homeland Security.

“We’re still collecting evidence,” said Brewster Co. Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ryan Skelton.

Police Chief Russell Scown confirmed to CBS 7’s Deann Lopez that evidence at the scene was consistent with a match to missing person Zuzu Verk.

“It didn’t just happen because we found the remains yesterday,” Scown said in a press conference just after three Saturday afternoon. “There are key pieces of evidence found at the scene that lead us to believe this is going to be Zuzu. So we went ahead and moved forward with those charges.”

Scown would not speculate on whether charges could be upgraded.

“We want the Medical Examiner to give us their idea of what happened before we make that call,” Scown said at the site off Wagon Road near FM 1703 west of Alpine.

Investigators will continue searching on the site where the remains were found well into the evening. Scown says they may finish up late Saturday night.

“The remains have been collected, but we still have other parts of the scene to document and photograph. That’s what we’re doing right now,” Scown said.

Scown could not say if anyone else could be arrested in relation to the case.

“This investigation has been going on for several months. We’ve already compiled a lot of information that led us to believe Robert is responsible,” Scown said, referring to the missing woman’s boyfriend Robert Fabian. “Finding the remains – the evidence collected – we felt it was right to go ahead and make that arrest on Robert.”

Scown reiterated that they did not have positive identification yet “but everything we found leads us in that direction.”

The missing woman’s mother told CBS 7 in an interview Friday that they felt the remains were their missing daughter.

At least 40 ground crews assisted with the search.

“It covers a big area,” Scown said. “It’s devastating for the community and I know for the Verk Family but I hope it gives them some closure and some peace at least knowing that we possibly found the remains. Next is to clean up the scene, collect all the evidence, put the scene back to the way it was. We had to do some things to the scene with permission of the property owner."

Scown said the area where the remains were found would be hard to spot.

“This scene wouldn’t have been seen from the air,” Scown said.

Brewster County Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Lambrix thanked the community for supporting first responders.

“From the get go, Alpine community and visitors have all been behind this search and finding Zuzu,” Lambrix said. ”None of us are happy with the end result. A lot of us have kids and daughters and it’s hit all of us real hard.”