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Texas student, 21, vanished after date night with partner





Texas student, 21, vanished after date night with partner Texas student, 21, vanished after date night with partner
  • Zuzu Verk disappeared after visiting boyfriend Robert Fabian on October 11
  • Fabian, 22, changed his story when being interviewed, according to police
  • He wavered on exactly how Verk left his apartment after their date turned nasty
  • And friends say he slept at his sister's apartment after Verk's disappearance 
  • Her car remained parked outside his home until October 14, neighbors said
  • His pal Chris Estrada, 28, helped him buy three plastic sheets on October 12 
  • Both have been charged with felony concealment of a corpse 
  • Verk's skeleton, wrapped in plastic sheets, was found in a shallow grave Friday 

New details have emerged surrounding the mysterious disappearance and death of a Texas student, courtesy of a newly released police affidavit.  

Robert Fabian, 22, told cops he planned a romantic dinner and back massages at his home for Zuzu Verk, 21, on the night of October 11, but she left after an argument about an ex-girlfriend.

He says he never saw her again - but the affidavit claims that his story changed under questioning by police, and that he acted suspiciously in the days afterward.

Those suspicious acts including getting friend Chris Estrada, 28, to help him buy plastic sheets like those found wrapped around her skeletal remains, Chron reported. 

 Arrested: Robert Fabian (left) has been arrested in connection with the death of Zuzu Verk (right), who disappeared on October 11, and whose skeleton was found on Friday

Arrested: Robert Fabian (left) has been arrested in connection with the death of Zuzu Verk (right), who disappeared on October 11, and whose skeleton was found on Friday

 Charged: Fabian had planned a romantic evening for Verk, but it descended into arguments. Police have charged his friend Chris Estrada (pictured) with helping him hide Verk's body

Charged: Fabian had planned a romantic evening for Verk, but it descended into arguments. Police have charged his friend Chris Estrada (pictured) with helping him hide Verk's body

Verk's skeleton was found by a US Border Patrol agent in the Sunny Glen area northwest of Alpine, the Texas town where Verk was last seen. 

She was identified using dental records; investigators have not yet determined how she died. 

Fabian, who reported Verk missing on October 14, initially told police that she left his apartment between 2am and 3am on the morning of October 12.

According to the affidavit, however, when police told him that a neighbor had seen Fabian leaving his apartment that morning, he amended his statement.

He told them he'd left Verk behind in the apartment while he went to a Dairy Queen to reconsider their relationship. He then returned before escorting her to the door.

Neighbors also told police that Fabian had played a movie loudly between 1am and 2am, and had then driven off alone at around 4am.

Verk's car remained parked outside his apartment until October 14, they said. 

Search warrants found that Fabian called his friend, Chris Estrada, twice during the early morning of October 12 and later borrowed a Ford F-150 pickup for an unknown reason. 

Estrada told police that he drove Fabian to a store on the evening of October 12, and let the man use his card to buy three plastic drop cloths, like those used by artists to protect a floor from paint.

Those drop cloths are similar to the ones wrapped around Verk's remains when they were found, police said.

 Discovery: Her corpse was found on Friday in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic. An affidavit says Fabian's story changed as police questioned him, and that he bought plastic sheets

Discovery: Her corpse was found on Friday in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic. An affidavit says Fabian's story changed as police questioned him, and that he bought plastic sheets

Estrada's computer details also show that he was at Fabian's apartment on October 12, from 10:40pm until midnight, the affadavit claims.

It also says that in the days afterward, Fabian stayed at his sister's place rather than his own apartment - something friends noted was odd.

And one friend told police that he had said: 'If I know a really big secret and two people know it, then the other has to be dead.'

The friend said Fabian had noticed a frightened look on his face, and then said he was joking.

Fabian and Estrada now stand charged with second-degree felony evidence tampering by concealment of a corpse. 

John Franco, who lives in the apartment directly below Fabian, told The Dallas Morning-News that the couple made dinner around 9pm on October 11.

'You could smell their food, and you can hear their conversation and then laugh a little bit. Then it got quiet like after 11pm', Franco said. 

Franco and his girlfriend heard 'shut the "F" up' and then nothing else.

 'Odd': Fabian slept at his sister's place rather than his own apartment after the disappearance, which friends say was oddStudy: Verk had been studying in Fabian's town of Alpine, Texas 

'Odd': Fabian slept at his sister's place rather than his own apartment after the disappearance, which friends say was odd. Verk had been studying in his town of Alpine, Texas

The couple often fought, but Franco said that night Fabian kept pacing across his apartment.

Then Franco's girlfriend heard a loud thump around 3am.

'She wanted me to go check, so I went to go check, and it was just Robert', Franco said, adding that he saw Fabian get into his car alone.

Estrada also tried to get his Ford Mustang cleaned three times at a local auto shop in the days following Verk's disappearance. 

Verk, who is originally from the Fort Worth area, studied conservation biology at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. 

Fabian is being held on $500,000 bond in Brewster County jail in Alpine. Estrada was arrested in Arizona and is being returned to Texas having waived extradition. 


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