Missing Woman's Ex Is Arrested On Child Porn Charges As Authorities Continue To View Him As 'Person Of Interest' In Disappearance

Investigators continue the search for Stephanie Parze, who vanished after attending a psychic show with family the day before Halloween.

By Jill Sederstrom
Stephanie Parze Pd

The ex-boyfriend of a missing New Jersey woman has been arrested on child pornography charges in an unrelated incident, but remains a person of interest in the 25-year-old’s disappearance.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Friday that John Ozbilgen, 29, had been taken into custody and charged with one count of possession of child pornography in an unrelated case, according to a statement.

The image was allegedly found on Ozbilgen’s iPhone X after a “forensic review” was conducted on the device, according to The Asbury Park Press.

Ozbilgen is the ex-boyfriend of Stephanie Parze, who disappeared from her New Jersey home on Oct. 30 after she went to a psychic show with her family.

While Ozbilgen’s arrest was not connected to the disappearance, a search conducted at his home the same day he was taken into custody was part of the effort to find Parze, the local paper reports.

He has been described as a “person of interest” in the 25-year-old’s disappearance, according to WNBC.

The night Parze disappeared she had been out with her family at a show in New Brunswick.

Her mother Sharlene Parze told the local station that Stephanie had been in a “good mood” and had given her mom a goodbye kiss before she headed home.

“It was like a perfect, perfect night and everybody had a good time,” Sharlene said.

But her close-knit family began to worry the next day when they hadn’t heard from her. After driving over to her home, they found her car still parked in the driveway and her cell phone on the couch in her home, but no sign of Stephanie. Lights had been left on in the home and the clothes she had worn out that night were also left behind—along with her dog Jazmine.

Her father Ed Parze told the station it was “definitely not like” his daughter to disappear without telling anyone.

“Not knowing is the worst, not knowing is the worst,” he said. “All we can hope for is that she’s alive and okay. The things that go through my head is horrible. Horrible.”

A statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office described the case as “active and ongoing.”

“Our investigation to this point has not given us any reason to believe that there is any danger to the general public,” it read. “This matter remains a high priority as investigators are determined to locate Ms. Parze.”

Ozbilgen and Parze began a relationship with one another on Aug. 19, according to a post on her Facebook account. However, at the time she disappeared, her relationship status was listed as single.

If Ozbilgen is convicted of the child pornography charge against him, he could face a sentence of up to five years in a state prison, prosecutors said.

Related Stories

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet