Exclusive: Person of interest in Zuzu Verk disappearance speaks out
12/05/2016 12:49 pm PST
UPDATE May 8, 2019:
A Caldwell County jury convicted Robert Fabian of murdering Zuzu Verk, 21, and tampering with physical evidence on Tuesday. On Wednesday that same jury sentenced Fabian to life in prison, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Fabian also has been sentenced to 20 years on the tampering charge. He will be eligible for parole after 30 years.
Chris Estrada told the court Fabian confessed to choking Zuzu after their dinner date. He further stated that Fabian asked him to help dispose of her body, KMID-TV reports. Estrada ultimately told the court that he declined to help Fabian move Zuzu's body, but also that he would not turn him in.
“We may never know exactly why he killed her, we may never know who else was involved,” Starns told the jury Tuesday.
A former inmate named Roy Roman told the court that while in jail, Fabian confessed to choking Zuzu after she threatened to tell people about a bisexual relationship between him and Estrada. Roman said Fabian claimed the altercation occurred out of “anger” and that he later buried her body with Estrada's help.
According to the Brewster County Sheriff's Office, a forensics team in Dallas made the identification Monday. The body was found near Sunny Glen Canyon by a U.S. Border Patrol officer who was in the area checking on a lead regarding illegal immigrants, according to KOSA.
A mystery in West Texas, where the search continues for 22-year-old college student Zuzu Verk, who went missing on Oct. 12.
As police continue to investigate her disappearance, people in the tight-knit town are wondering if a killer is walking among them.
Weeks after her disappearance, Crime Watch Daily is on the case, knocking on doors, talking to family and uncovering never-before-heard details in our exclusive interview with a man police are calling an official person of interest.
It had only been about two years since Denton, Texas native Zuzu Verk moved to the small college town of Alpine to study conservation biology at Sul Ross State University.
Zuzu had midterm exams coming up just a few days before that life-altering Wednesday, October 12, 2016.
Police found her disappearance suspicious enough to immediately open an investigation, and Zuzu's parents relocated to Alpine that same weekend to help with the search.
In a shocking turn, just one day after talking to police about Zuzu's disappearance, the last known person to see her alive, her own boyfriend Robert Fabian, had "lawyered up."
"He is distraught over the disappearance of Zuzu. We are conducting our own investigation, and we fervently pray that Zuzu will be found alive and well. And that's all the comment I can make at this time."
Police talked to multiple acquaintances of Zuzu's boyfriend, and in an affidavit filed just six days after she disappeared, Robert Fabian is officially listed as a "suspected party."
According to Robert himself, the last time he saw Zuzu was when he says she left around 3 or 4 a.m. on the morning she went missing.
Police also questioned Robert's friend Chris Estrada, even calling him an actual person of interest.
They also obtain search warrants for Robert's apartment, a pickup truck and even Chris Estrada's Ford Mustang, all for the purpose of getting to the bottom of the "possible wrongful acts of Robert Fabian."
Days before Crime Watch Daily visited Alpine, a grand jury was convened to try to get more answers. So far, certain members of Robert's family have already been called to testify, and so has Chris Estrada's girlfriend.
But so far, no arrests have been made, and Zuzu is still missing.
Robert Fabian's attorney Liz Rogers told Crime Watch Daily only that: "At this time it is inappropriate for me to comment."
But Chris Estrada did agree to speak with us publicly about the case for the first time anywhere.
To Chris Estrada's credit, even after being named a person of interest, he continues to cooperate with police, and has yet to retain a lawyer, saying he has nothing to hide.