The search for missing New Jersey woman Stephanie Parze, 25, has come to a tragic end. She was found dead on Sunday in Middlesex County, said the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor.
It is with great sadness we announce that Stephanie Parze’s remains were recovered yesterday in Old Bridge. The ME confirmed her identity this morning. MCPO will hold a brief press conference later today. Thanks to @MCProsecutor and @oldbridgepd for great teamwork on this matter.
— Monmouth Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) January 27, 2020
Parze was declared missing in 2019. She reportedly went missing after hanging out with her parents in new Brunswick on October 30.
Former boyfriend John Ozbilgen, a person of interest in her disappearance, was charged in a child pornography case shortly after. He admitted in his suicide note that he killed Parze, officials said Monday.
Before he died, prosecutors tried to keep him locked up amid the investigation, saying he had bad blood with the then-missing woman.
He allegedly sent her 10 texts the night before she disappeared, calling her a “f—— c—,” according to The Asbury Park Press. Parze didn’t answer him.
An ex-girlfriend, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the outlet in December that Ozbilgen would choke her during arguments until she was unconscious, and she feared he might have killed the missing Parze.
Ozbilgen died by suicide at home in November, shortly after being released from jail amid the child porn case.
“My client, John Ozbilgen, was discovered by his parents, Joe and Cindy Ozbilgen, this morning deceased in their residence. John Ozbilgen took his own life,” the defendant’s attorney Robert Honecker said in a statement at the time to Law&Crime. “His family is emotionally distraught and heartbroken. He was facing a charge of child pornography which he strongly denied and maintained his innocence. He was released from custody on that charge and returned home.”
Note: Updated to show that Ozbilgen killed Parze, according to prosecutors.
[Image via Freehold Township Police Department]