ALPINE, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Christopher Estrada has been sentenced to prison time Friday in the case of former Sul Ross State University Student Zuzu Verk’s death.
Estrada, according to the Alpine Police Department, was sentenced to 42 months in prison on a tampering charge and a 12 month sentence on an evading arrest charge in a separate case.
Those sentences will run concurrently.
Estrada was arrested and charged in connection with the death of Verk. Her then-boyfriend Robert Fabian was sentenced to life in prison on a murder charge.
Verk was a student at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. She was reported missing on October 14, 2016. Her disappearance prompted a massive search by friends, family and multiple law enforcement agencies.
Rewards were offered in the thousands of dollars for information leading to the whereabouts of Zuzu. However, searches turned up empty each time.
Fabian was later named a person of interest in the case.
Verk’s family also made several public pleas with the community to continue the search for their daughter and for Fabian to cooperate with authorities.
“Robert, If you love Zuzu as much as you say you do, and have told me, over and over, you will come down here and you will help the police bring my sister home.” Zuzu’s brother, Miles Verk, said in a press conference in October of 2016.
After months of searching, a Border patrol Agent located Verk’s body in a shallow grave in a remote area of Brewster County.
“In our hearts, we all knew,” Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said during a news conference shortly after the remains were found. “When I walked up there (to the scene where the remains were found) I just knew.”
Fabian and Estrada were arrested a short time later in the case.
During Fabian’s trial in Caldwell County, Estrada testified that he spent time with Fabian on the day Verk went missing.
When they arrived at Fabian’s apartment that evening, Estrada told the court that Fabian asked to talk to him about a “life and death matter.”
Estrada went on to say that Fabian admitted to chocking Verk to death and said she was still laying in his bed under the covers. Finally, Estrada told the court that Fabian asked him to help move Verk’s body, but he refused.