Stephanie Parze, 25, was last seen by her family on October 30th, 2019, after attending Cindy Kaza’s New Jersey psychic show with her sister and family earlier that evening. Stephanie’s mother, Sharlene Parze, called her daughters cell phone many times the next day after Stephanie missed work from 9am to 6pm.
Sharlene drives over to her mother’s home ten miles away, which is where Stephanie was currently living, to discover her daughter’s white Hundayi Sonata parked in the driveway. She eventually finds Stephanie’s phone on the couch, but could not remember her daughter’s pin number to unlock. Media quickly reported the missing girl Stephanie Parze as last seen wearing a v-neck, burgandy blue jeans with a burgandy sweater. Her purse and shoes were also located at her home.
Stephanie Parze was the oldest of four sisters and a “tough kid” according to her father Edward Parze, 54, who also told the Asbury Park Press that her daughter is, “independent and always has to have the last word. But she’s caring, she loved children.” Stephanie graduated from Freehold Township High School where she excelled as a catcher on the softball team. Upon graduating she pursued art and cosmetology, which according to her Facebook worked as a wax specialist at European Wax Center and was a makeup artist at LA Artistry in Jackson.
In August leading up to her murder Stephanie suffered a pneumonia scare brought on by vaping. After ending up in the hospital she took a hiatus on her cosmology related jobs and became a home nanny looking over a small child. Stephanie’s parents said that she loved children and was good at caring for them.
A November 5th, a tweet from Jim Murdock News12NJ broke recent developments that police had arrested a person of interest in Parze’s disappearance. Another report from Staten Island Advance states that a search would be held in a “heavily wooded area in Richmond Valley”.
Using cellphone records along with the mother’s suspicions of Stephanie’s ex-boyfriend John Ozbilgen, police could track his recent location to Long Park Road. Ozbilgen spent six hours in this wooded area giving police strong suspicions that he had buried her body nearby. John D. Ozbilgen, 29, was a Staten Island stock broker who was on and off with Parze and can be seen in many of her Facebook photos. Police already knew Ozbilgen after being arrested years earlier as a member of a drug-selling ring.
Police arrested Ozbilgen after searching his home for information about Parze’s whereabout after they discovered child pornography on his cell phone. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said the scene of arrest “was completely unrelated to the disappearance of Stephanie Parze” and that John Ozbilgen was being charged with one count of possession of child pornography, which relates to the quantity of files under 1,000. Ozbilgen, who his employer Woodstock Financial Group quickly fired, was let out of prison on probation that including checking in twice per month with the court and being barred from using the Internet or any drugs.
Police also find the communications between Stephanie Parze and John on Ozbilgen’s cell phone the night of October 30th. The back-and-forth texts between the two clarify that John Ozbilgen is simply using Stephanie for sex and has no interest in her.
Knowing that he would most likely be convicted of Stephanie Parze’s murder, John Ozbilgen committed suicide by hanging himself in his home. Ozbilgen left a suicide not addressed to his family, but did not disclose the location of Stephanie’s body. Fortunately Stephanie’s remains were found by searchers on January 26th near Route 9.