ALPINE, Texas -- The boyfriend of ahas been named a suspect in her disappearance, officials say.
Alpine police say searchers in the air, on foot and on horseback are looking for 22-year-old Zuzu Verk of Fort Worth. The Sul Ross State University junior has been missing since Oct. 12, reportedly after going on a date with the boyfriend. The university is about 210 miles southeast of El Paso.
Investigators have said Verk could be in danger.
Multiple local jurisdictions as well as the Texas Department of Safety, the Texas Rangers and the FBI are involved in the search that’s spanned over 500 miles of rugged terrain.
Alpine Police announced on their Facebook page Wednesday that Verk’s boyfriend Robert Fabian, who had been a person of interest, is now a suspect.
According to a warrant obtained by WFAA, Fabian allegedly borrowed a Ford F-150 pickup truck from a friend early Oct. 12 and communicated with the friend over calls and Snapchat. Investigators released photos of an F-150 truck on their Facebook page, asking anyone who had seen the vehicle on the road to come forward.
A search warrant for the truck says Fabian was acting “very nervous” in the days after the disappearance, and that the friend attempted to get his car cleaned three times at an auto shop.
The friend has reportedly been named a person of interest but police say he is cooperating. Members of Fabian’s family are also considered persons of interest, police say.
The state attorney general’s office is taking over the case for “continuity” because the local district attorney is set to leave office in 2017, reports CBS affiliate KOSA. Court documents filed by state prosecutors say a “lengthy grand jury investigation is required to continue the investigation and prosecution of this case” that may extend past the end of 2016.
Fabian’s neighbor John Franco told WFAA he heard arguing and pacing in Fabian’s apartment and a loud thump around four in the morning.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, police said Fabian has’t been cooperating with authorities. Verk’s father Glenn pleaded with him to come forward, cooperate with police and aid in the search.
“I’ve seen a lot of people here helping – if you would please come and cooperate with the police department and help us, help them,” Verk pleaded. “I know that you love her – I hope that you do – and this would be a way to show it.”