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Body of Freehold woman missing since October found in Old Bridge

Funeral services have been set for a Freehold woman who went missing in October, and who ultimately was killed by her ex-boyfriend.

News 12 Staff

Jan 27, 2020, 2:51 PM

Updated 1,609 days ago


Funeral services have been set for a Freehold woman who went missing in October, and who ultimately was killed by her ex-boyfriend.
Stephanie Parze’s remains were found Sunday afternoon in a wooded area near Old Milltown Road and Route 9 in Old Bridge. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office says that two teenage boys found the 25-year-old woman’s body.
Parze was missing since Oct. 30. She was last seen after attending a family event. Her family says that she failed to show up for a babysitting appointment the next day, prompting an intense search for her began.
“Our lives will never be the same, however, Stephanie is home at last, right where she belongs,” says father Ed Parze.
Monmouth County officials say that they now know for sure that Parze’s ex-boyfriend John Ozbilgen killed her. They say that Ozbilgen confessed to the murder in a suicide note that he left at his parent’s home before taking his own life.
"In the note, John Ozbilgen stated he had enough and that he could not do life in prison. He also admitted that what his parents would hear in the news was true. Except for charges of child pornography,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said at a news conference.
Authorities say that Ozbilgen had been a suspect from the moment Parze went missing. They say that they knew that he killed her even before leaving the suicide note confession.
"We executed 50 search warrants in 10 different locations across the region,” the prosecutor said. ‘We searched Ozbilgen’s residence five times."
After a search of Ozbilgen’s phone allegedly turned up disturbing images, Ozbilgen was arrested and charged with possessing child pornography. A judge released him after 11 days in jail. He would soon take his life.
When asked why Ozbilgen wasn’t charged with Parze’s murder, Gramiccioni stated that investigators wanted to find the body first and gather additional evidence.
"We were waiting for certain evidence to come through forensic examinations, they take a while. We were waiting to de-encrypt cellphones that were seized as part of the investigation,” he said.
Detectives spent most of Sunday and Monday gathering evidence along Route 9, including clothing from Ozbilgen's car and the interior shell of his trunk.
Parze’s family will hold a viewing on Jan. 30 from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. At Saint Rose of Lima Chapel in Freehold. A funeral Mass will be held on Jan. 31 at the Saint Rose of Lima Old Church at 10 a.m.
Parze's father said that the family will start a foundation in her name to help battered women. Police say Ozbilgen had been charged with three domestic violence incidents in his past.
A cause of death for Parze is pending an autopsy.

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