Medical Examiner: Body Found In Woods Is That Of Missing NJ Woman

Sean Adams
January 27, 2020 - 3:00 pm
NJ body found

Sean Adams/ WCBS 880


MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J. (WCBS 880) — The medical examiner has confirmed that a body found in the woods over the weekend is that of Stephanie Parze, a New Jersey woman who went disappeared the night before Halloween.

The remains were discovered by two teenagers on Sunday afternoon south of Old Mill Road, off Route 9 in Old Bridge.

"It is with great sadness we announce that Stephanie Parze’s remains were recovered yesterday in Old Bridge," the Monmouth County prosecutor's office tweeted Monday. 

The night before Halloween, after a family night out, Parze, 25, went missing after she dropped her parents off at their house.

Officials said Parze's vehicle was still in the driveway along with her phone, and her lights on at her Freehold Township home about 25 minutes from where the body was found.

Dressed all in black, her father, Ed Parze declared it a somber day.

“Our lives are never gonna be the same. However, Stephanie is home,” he told reporters.

Investigators had been searching for the missing 25-year-old for three months. Her father thanked them for their hard work in helping to find his daughter.

"We have to thank all of Stef's Angels - a phrase we came up with because there were so many of them, only heaven could have brought them down,” he said.

Parze's ex-boyfriend, John Ozbilgen, was found dead in an apparent suicide inside his home in November just days after he was declared a person of interest in her disappearance by Monmouth County prosecutors.

Authorities say Parze had accused Ozbilgen of abuse during their months-long relationship and he had allegedly sent 10 angry texts to Parze before she disappeared.

“When he committed suicide, we searched his residence then and found a note that just reaffirmed his responsibility for her death,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.

The investigation continues. The Parze family plans to start a foundation to help battered women and missing people.