Community members remember Zuzu Verk in candlelight vigil - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Community members remember Zuzu Verk in candlelight vigil

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)
ALPINE, TX (KWES) -

Thursday marks the 1 year anniversary of a story that captured the hearts of our entire area.

Sul Ross State University student Zuzu Verk was reported missing in Alpine.

Her disappearance launched a massive search with law enforcement agencies and rescue operations from around the country stepping in to help in any way they could.

Months after her disappearance, law enforcement finally found her remains in a rural area, just outside of the city.

The City of Alpine came together Wednesday night to remember the Sul Ross student and the lasting message she left behind.

Candles with Zuzu Rene Verk's initials were custom made for many to remember and honor Zuzu.

A moment of silence was held for all victims and survivors of domestic violence.

Hearts were heavy as a big portion of the community showed up to honor Zuzu.

Emily Garcia is a junior at Sul Ross State University, she had mutual friends with Zuzu.

It's a story that pulled at her heartstrings.

"This is something that's very dear to this campus, especially last year with Zuzu Verk, it's even more dear to our hearts," said Garcia.

Students and community members walked from the Sul Ross State University Library to the courthouse where they took part in a candlelight vigil.

"It's always going to be heavy hearts around here, especially for the people who knew her and even now, this month, a lot of people go out for her," said Garcia.

Stories were shared from domestic violence awareness advocates and survivors.

The last 12 months were tough on this community and it's something they're using to make them stronger.

"It did affect Sul Ross, but it did happen, it did make us stronger. We're more aware of what happened and hopefully we can prevent it for the future," said Garcia.

Even though many in the Alpine community came out with Zuzu on their minds, the City of Alpine chose not tie Zuzu's name to the walk or vigil in fear of being held liable, that's after local organizations shared a Facebook event with Zuzu's name.

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