The now-dead boyfriend of missing woman Stephanie Parze may have stayed at her Freehold home the night before her disappearance, Parze’s mother said during a 911 call reporting her daughter missing.
During the eight-minute call on Oct. 31, 2019, Sharlene Parze said her family had already contacted her daughter’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, John Ozbilgen, in an attempt to find 25-year-old Stephanie.
Stephanie’s parents have said they last saw their daughter when she left their Route 33 residence around 10 p.m. the night before, on Halloween, and she was returning to her late-grandmother’s house across town on Meadowbrook Lane, where she’d been living.
“(Ozbilgen) said that he saw her last night, he stayed there and he was getting ready for work this morning and has not heard from her since all day,” Sharlene Parze told the dispatcher.
Ozbilgen, later deemed a person of interest in Stephanie’s disappearance, was arrested on child pornography charges in November after investigators searched his electronic devices as part of the missing person case. He killed himself at his parent’s home, also in Freehold, days after being released from jail.
Prosecutors say he fired off 10 angry text messages to Stephanie Parze the night before she went missing and detectives noticed marks around his neck during their investigation.
Authorities and Parze’s family have searched in two states for the young woman who worked as a nanny and was skilled at applying makeup, and dreamed of becoming a movie makeup artist. The family has two more searches planned this weekend.
In the 911 call, Sharlene Parze cast doubt on Ozbilgen’s comments that he slept over Stephanie’s house, and the mom mentioned an assault complaint her daughter filed against Ozbilgen a month prior, in September. Stephanie had accused Ozbilgen of striking her hand and then backhanding her across the head, ripping off one of her fake nails.
“Who’s to say he really slept over and saw her this morning? I don’t know,” Sharlene Parze said in the call.
The mother of four walked the dispatcher through efforts she made that day to locate her daughter. She had panic and worry in her voice.
Stephanie apparently returned to her late-grandmother’s home after a family night out at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick on Oct. 30, the Parze family has said.
The next day, Sharlene Parze said she began to worry when her daughter stopped responding to text messages, so she stopped by the house twice.
During her second trip to the home around 8 p.m., Sharlene Parze said she found Stephanie’s phone on the side of a couch inside the home with a notification saying she missed a 9 a.m. babysitting gig. Stephanie’s white Hyundai Sonata was in the driveway.
“I’ve been calling her and texting her all day. I’ve reached out to almost every friend that she has,” Sharlene Parze said. “No one has heard from her.”
“She started going on the dating page on Facebook and was talking to a couple guys, so I don’t know whether … but she’d never meet someone in the morning,” she said.
Friends and loved ones continue to hold out hope for a miracle that Parze will be found, they said before the holidays.
The family has conducted multiple searches for her throughout wooded areas in Freehold with the help of hundreds of volunteers.
Authorities have also combed through Long Pond Park in Staten Island in connection to Parze’s disappearance. Her ex-boyfriend once lived in the Tottenville section of Staten Island until recently and worked in the New York City borough as a stockbroker. Prosecutors said he was fired from his employer, Woodstock Financial Group, on Oct. 31.
The next search for Parze is set for Sat. Jan. 4, at Sandy Hook at the northern tip of Monmouth County. The family and volunteers will gather at parking lot B at 10 a.m. Another search will be held in Old Bridge on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 9 a.m. at a site on Jake Brown Road near the southbound side of Route 9.
Stephanie’s father Edward Parze has been posting information about searches on his Facebook page.
Avalon Zoppo may be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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