Alpine college holds memorial for slain student Zuzu Verk

- Family, friends and fellow students of a slain West Texas college student honored her in a memorial Thursday night.

Zuzu Verk disappeared last October, but her remains were found last week, bringing those who loved her a little closure.

Hundreds attended the memorial at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, where Zuzu went to school. The 22-year-old grew up in Keller and moved to Alpine for college.

"Zuzu's name comes from the very touching movie, ‘It's a Wonderful Life,’” Zuzu’s dad, Glenn, told the crowd. “One of the lessons from that story is no one is poor who has friends. Looking at all of you makes me realize Zuzu is the richest person I know.”

Classmates remembered the transfer student from North Texas who had a knack for finding friends fast.

“I was moved more by the level of respect she showed me,” said classmate Charles Barrett. “She thought highly enough of our relationship to check on me.”

Her friends still look for ways to help in a helpless situation.

“I'm glad she's not like suffering somewhere or like alone,” said student Andrea Bode. “It's been hard.” 

“You don't expect your children to die before you die. And this is just one of those things that defied really the order in life,” said Professor Louis Harveson. “And to take somebody that was so very special and so very passionate is just a travesty.”

“I kind of woke up with a light heart thinking this isn't a funeral, this is a celebration of someone's life,” said student Gunner Gardner.

Some of the hard answers came last Friday when a border patrol agent found a body just a few miles outside of Alpine, Where Zuzu disappeared. On Monday, dental records confirmed the remains were her remains.

Police arrested her boyfriend, Robert Fabian, and his friend, Christopher Estrada. Both are accused of tampering with evidence and concealing a body.

As the investigation continues, those who knew and taught Zuzu at her university are now focused on honoring her memory. The new amphitheater was dedicated to her and was named the Zuzu Verk Memorial Classroom.

Zuzu will be laid to rest at a later date in the Dallas area.

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