Man named person of interest in ex-girlfriend's disappearance found dead

The man who was named as a person of interest in his ex-girlfriend's disappearance has been found dead, sources say.

News 12 Staff

Nov 22, 2019, 3:07 PM

Updated 1,647 days ago

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The man who was named as a person of interest in his ex-girlfriend's disappearance has been found dead, investigators confirmed Friday morning.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says John Ozbilgen, 29, was found dead in his Freehold home on Kings Mountain Road Friday. Sources tell News 12 that it appears he hanged himself overnight. He was named a person of interest in the case of missing Monmouth County woman Stephanie Parze.
In a tweet, the prosecutor's office said it does not "believe his death was suspicious at this time."
Authorities have not yet released further information on the developments, but News 12 was at the scene in Freehold where what appeared to be the medical examiner's office's minivan was in the driveway.
A lawyer representing Ozbilgen's parents was also on scene. The victim's parents found him inside their home sometime after midnight Friday.
"The family is obviously distraught--has been distraught for several weeks as it's been constant police presence at their home," said Rick Incremona, an attorney for Ozbilgen's parents. "They've only been here for about a year in this neighborhood."
Police were seen watching Ozbilgen's home and monitoring his activities on Wednesday.
Parze's friends and family spent the day Wednesday searching Freehold's Michael Tighe Park. Law enforcement officials also searched a park in Staten Island.
Stephanie Parze went missing Oct. 30 after she was last seen leaving a family gathering.
Ozbilgen was not facing any charges related to Parze's disappearance, but authorities say they found child pornography on his phone. He was facing a third-degree child pornography charge and spent 11 days in jail. Ozbilgen had denied those charges.
A judge released him on Tuesday, following a hearing.
During that hearing, it was revealed that Ozbilgen allegedly sent Parze several angry, profanity-laced text messages on the night she disappeared. Prosecutors say he also had marks on his neck when he was questioned by police three days later.
Ozbilgen's attorney, Robert Honecker, says he met with him Thursday night to discuss strategy in the child pornography case and saw no indication he would take his own life.
Neither attorney would comment on whether Ozbilgen left a note or how he killed himself.
News 12 reached out to Parze's family about the latest development but has not yet heard back.


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