Blog: Arrest made in connection to Zuzu Verk case

Mugshot courtesy of the Alpine Police Department.
Mugshot courtesy of the Alpine Police Department.(KOSA)
Published: Feb. 3, 2017 at 12:24 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
We are updating this blog with the latest information on a body that was discovered Friday morning in a shallow grave.
9:50 a.m. Update:

An arrest has been made in connection to the Zuzu Verk case.

According to the Alpine Police Department, former boyfriend Robert Fabian has been charged and arrested with a warrant for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence by concealing a human corpse.

Fabian was arrested at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning.


5:40 p.m. Update:

According to The Alpine Police Department, Texas Rangers have arrived on scene and are taking evidence into possession, with the help of the Brewster County Sheriff's Office and Alpine Police.

The evidence collection could take several days, APD reports. The remains will be taken to the University of North Texas on Monday for identification.

5 p.m. Update:

Sheriff Ronny Dodson gave a press conference to the media Friday afternoon revealing new details on the body that was found.

According to Dodson, the remains of the body are scattered over an area, requiring members of the sheriff's office and Texas Rangers to do an extensive search.

Members of the Alpine Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, DPS, and Homeland Security are expected to join in the search on Saturday.

Sheriff Dodson was not able to say if the remains that were found were male or female, but that the forensics test in Dallas would give them more information.

The family of Zuzu Verk is set to arrive at the local airport, where they will be picked up by officers with the Alpine Police Department.

Zuzu's mother, Lori, lives in Alpine currently. Zuzu's father, brother, and sister currently live out of the area.

According to Sheriff Dodson, the shallow grave was very well concealed, and they consider themselves lucky that it was found as Border Patrol agents do not normally operate in that area.

The Border Patrol trooper who found the remains was working on information relating to illegal immigrants in the area.

The area where the remains were found had been previously searched, but according to Sheriff Dodson vegetation was greener and thicker at the time.

Evidence found at the scene will be taken to a DPS lab, where it will be processed in order to help their investigation.

Sheriff Dodson says they don't expect new information to be released until Monday or Tuesday, and don't expect to clear the scene until Saturday.

What happens if the body is determined to be Zuzu?

"We'll go from there," said Sheriff Dodson.

Everything we know so far:

Early Friday morning Alpine Border Patrol Agents were performing operations near Sunny Glen when they found human remains in a shallow grave.

The agents then notified the Brewster County Sheriff's Office at 10 a.m., handing off the investigation.

When BCSO arrived on scene they secured the area, and found a shallow grave which appeared to have been disturbed.

"It looks like an animal might have dug it up and scattered it about. Now we have to piece it all back together," Brewster County Sheriff Dodson said during a phone interview.

A forensics team was then requested to arrive on scene and examine the remains.

According to Sheriff Dodson, as of now they plan to send the remains to Dallas where they will be identified. They also hope to gather evidence from the remains while in Dallas.

At this time, Sheriff Dodson cannot confirm whether or not the remains are those of missing Alpine student Zuzu Verk.

He did confirm with CBS 7 that Zuzu Verk is the only current missing persons case in the area.

You can listen to Sheriff Dodson's full interview




United States Border Patrol has released information on the body discovered Friday morning.

According to a press release, Alpine Border Patrol agents discovered the human remains as they were performing normal Border Patrol operations.

Border Patrol then notified local and state law enforcement agencies and the investigation was turned over.



Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson tells CBS 7 his crews have a perimeter set up around the Sunny Glen area, a few miles outside of Alpine.

He says they will not be able to continue with their investigation until a forensic team from out of town arrives on scene.

Sheriff Dodson says the remains were found in a shallow grave that appeared to have been disturbed.

"It looks like an animal might have dug it up and scattered it about. Now we have to piece it all back together," sheriff Dodson said during a phone interview.

Sheriff Dodson says the remains were discovered Friday morning by a Border Patrol agent. His office was notified soon after that.

Once the forensic team is on scene, the remains will be sent to a forensic examiner in the Dallas area to get an I.D. While the remains are there, evidence will try to be taken off the remains.

CBS 7 inquired if Sheriff Dodson believes the remains are those of missing Alpine student Zuzu Verk, but were told it is too early to tell.

"Right now we really don't want to say, we don't want to jeopardize the case, what we're going to do is my deputies are going to take the remains to the forensics examiner in Dallas probably on Sunday, and we'll drop them off on Monday, and we're going to get a positive ID," said Sheriff Dodson, "We'll then go to the forensic institute there and see what kind of evidence we can get off the remains."

Sheriff Dodson confirmed that Zuzu Verk is the only reported missing person in the area.



The Alpine Police Department has released new information on the remains found:

Alpine Police Department is assisting Brewster County Sheriff's Office with human remains that have been located in the Sunny Glen area just north west of Alpine. The remains were located in a shallow grave just off of Wagon Road. The investigation is ongoing and we would like to notify the public to avoid the area. The remains will sent off for identification. We will continue to update as circumstances develop.


Authorities are investigating a body that was found near Sunny Glen Canyon.

According to the Brewster County Sheriff's Office, the gender of the body has not been identified.

The sheriff's office is currently working to access the area the body was found.

According to KVLF/KALP Radio in Alpine, the body was found in a shallow grave.


Posted by Alpine Radio - Texas on Friday, February 3, 2017
CBS 7 has a crew on the way to the scene and will update this story as more information is released.