Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson announced this afternoon that the human remains found in a shallow grave just outside Alpine city limits on Friday are those of missing Sul Ross State University student ZuZu Verk.
At a press conference, Dodson said, “At about 2:50 pm [today] we were notified by the medical examiner office at the Dallas Institute of Forensic Science that we do have a positive I.D. through dental records that the remains found in Brewster County are that of Zuzu Verk. The family has been notified.”
ZuZu Verk was last seen the night of October 11, 2016.
In response, Sul Ross State University President Bill Kibler issued the following statement:
To the Sul Ross State University and the Alpine family,
We grieve the loss of our friend and fellow student Zuzu Renee Verk, as events of the past weekend have brought a tragic closure to her disappearance in October of this past year. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Verk family, with the assurance that the university and the community family will continue to provide prayers and active support.
Zuzu’s death affects all of us as well. Counseling and Accessibility Services (Ferguson Hall Room 112 or 432.837.8203) is standing by with counselors available to assist students, faculty and staff in this grieving process.
We thank the Alpine Police Department, Brewster County Sheriff’s Office, and all other participating law enforcement and emergency personnel, as well as the countless volunteers — many from Sul Ross —for their tireless efforts in the search for Zuzu.
Despite our sadness, let us remember the smiles, energy and zest for life that personified Zuzu. She embodied characteristics that represent the best in all of us.
Plans are underway for a memorial service for Zuzu to be held at Sul Ross State University on Thursday, February 9th at 6:30 pm, at the new outdoor amphitheater between the Warnock Science Building and the Lobo Village Residence Halls. The Verk family announced that in lieu of flowers they would appreciate gifts be made to:
Zuzu Verk Memorial Scholarship Fund in Natural Resource Management, C/O SRSU Office of External Affairs, PO Box C-114, Alpine, TX 79832.
[For additional information, please search this website for posts about Ms. Verk.]