What to Know
- An army of law enforcement officers descended on a Staten Island Park Wednesday in their search for a missing New Jersey woman
- Stephanie Parze, of Freehold Township, vanished Oct. 30 after dropping her parents at their house following a night out in New Brunswick
- Her car was found parked in her driveway, her belongings in her home; the lights were on. There were no signs of a struggle -- or of her
A legion of law enforcement officers swarmed a 115-acre park preserve on Staten Island Wednesday in their search for a 25-year-old New Jersey woman who has been missing since dropping off her parents on Halloween Eve.
Chopper 4 captured an army of detectives and other officers at Long Pond Park, near Page Avenue and Amboy Road, late Wednesday morning. More than a dozen law enforcement vehicles were parked and lined up outside the area as authorities began combing the woods for any sign of Stephanie Parze.
Monmouth County prosecutors said in a Facebook post they were working with the NYPD and other local law enforcement officials on the search, but provided no other details on what led them to that location Wednesday.
The police pulled out of the park by 4 p.m., ending their search for the day.
Parze, of Freehold Township vanished without a trace after joining her family for a night out in New Brunswick on Oct. 30, parents Sharlene and Ed previously told News 4. The 25-year-old kissed her mother goodbye after dropping them off at their place that night and headed for her home about 10 miles away, where she lives alone with her dog. She hasn’t been heard from since that night.
Her car was still in the driveway, her clothing from that night in her home, along with her phone. Multiple lights were on; there was no sign of a struggle. Only her dog, Jazmine, was in the house.
Last week, law enforcement sources told News 4 a man accused of possessing child pornography had been identified as a "person of interest" in the case.
John Ozbilgen, 29, who also lives in Freehold Township, was arrested at his home Friday and charged with possession of child pornography, officials said. No charges related to Parze's disappearance were filed against him, but law enforcement sources say Ozbilgen is considered a person of interest in the Parze case. No other details on their possible connection were immediately available, and information on an attorney for Ozbilgen wasn't clear.
Meanwhile, Parze's parents remain desperate for answers.
“It was like a perfect, perfect night and everybody had a good time,” said mom Sharlene Parze, adding her daughter was in “such a good mood” the night they went out.
The last contact her mother had from Stephanie was a Snapchat she sent not far from her home. Her parents say it is completely unlike her to disappear without reaching out to them.
“Definitely not like her. If she can get to me, she would,” father Ed Parze said. "Not knowing is the worst, not knowing is the worst. All we can hope for is that she’s alive and OK the things that go through my head is horrible. Horrible."
Stephanie Parze is a makeup artist who had just started another job as a nanny just two weeks ago. Dozens of Monmouth County and Freehold Township detectives are looking into her disappearance, with posters put up all over town in hopes of someone coming forward with any information.
Sources did not specify if Parze and Ozbilgen knew each other.
Attorney information for Ozbilgen was not immediately known.