Former UNT student missing, reward up to $200,000
ALPINE, TEXAS — Police are searching for 22-year-old former UNT student Zuzu Verk, after she didn’t return home from a date with her boyfriend.
Verk, attended UNT from fall 2013 to spring 2015, and was last seen between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight Oct. 12. The reward for information leading to Verk’s return is currently set at $200,000.
On the night of Oct. 11, Verk reportedly went on a date to the movies with her boyfriend. According to authorities, the couple had been on-again, off-again for some time, and it was unclear of where their relationship stood at the time of her disappearance.
Authorities said the details of the night are “hazy, at best.”
Verk stopped responding to text messages and phone calls on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Her friends hadn’t heard from her and went to check her apartment, only to find that she wasn’t there.
When her family realized she was missing, Verk’s father drove from their home in Keller to Alpine, he told NBC news.
The search for Verk has spanned to Mexico, just 100 miles outside of the West Texas town.
The Fort Worth native studied pre-studio art UNT before transferring her sophomore year to Sul Ross State University in Alpine to study conservation biology.
Police are still searching for leads on Verk’s whereabouts. Anyone with information leading to Verk’s location will receive a reward posted by Alpine police that came from donations.
Verk’s ex-boyfriend of five months, Zacharia Hutchins, Verk was “a very bubbly, passionate and fun woman to be around.” The two broke up in January and that was the last time Hutchins spoke with Verk, but he was still sad to hear that she is missing. Hutchins said he remembers her as someone who loved hiking, outdoor activities, going to parties, and comedy television shows.
Hutchins also said that it’s not typical of Verk to disappear for periods of time.
“I know she always has a dream of going to Japan, but she was very close with her friends,” Hutchins said. “I don’t think would ever disappear without telling anyone.”
What we don’t know
It is unknown if Verk was with anyone at the time she went missing, but according to her father and Alpine police, Verk’s boyfriend may know more than he is letting on, CBS news reported.
The police have also been investigating a number of vehicles in the case, a white Ford Mustang, a Mazda Miata and a Jeep Liberty, but it is unknown if any of these vehicles have turned over clues to police.
Alpine Police were not immediately available for comment, but the Daily will update the story as information becomes available.
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