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A New Jersey man accused of killing 25-year-old Stephanie Parze before taking his own life told his parents he “can’t do life in prison” in a suicide note written to the family.
“Sorry about all this crazyness (sic), I’ve been miserable for so long now, I had enough,” 29-year-old John Ozbilgen wrote in the note released by the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor and obtained by Oxygen.com. “Thanks for everything, I can’t do life in prison.”
Ozbilgen—who addressed the note to “Mom, Dad, Sal, Sammy,”—went on to say that “Most of the stuff you will hear is true, exept (sic) the child porn, I would never do that.”
Authorities believe Ozbilgen killed Parze, his ex-girlfriend who worked in New Jersey as a nanny, shortly after she was last seen returning from a family outing on Oct. 30. Her body was discovered in a wooded area Jan. 26, months after Ozbilgen had taken his own life.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said at a press conference shortly after Parze’s body was discovered that they believe the notes he left behind—including one to his family and one to another ex-girlfriend—confirmed he was the killer.
"That guilt belongs to John Ozbilgen and John Ozbilgen alone," Gramiccioni said, according to The Patch.
Ozbilgen hanged himself in the garage of his parents’ home in Freehold Township on Nov. 22, according to The Asbury Park Press. His suicide occurred just two days after he was released from jail on child pornography charges filed against him after investigators said they had discovered several images on his phone of violent child pornography.
Ozbilgen never addressed Parze’s death directly or provided a motive in his final letters, but did make references to his unraveling life.
“I dug myself in a deep hole, this is the only choice,” he wrote in the note to his family.
He ended the note by saying “I love you guys,” and then drawing a smiley face.
Ozbilgen also wrote a heart-scrawled second note addressed to an ex-girlfriend.
“I love you so much little lady,” he wrote. “I miss you so much. I don’t know what I was thinking when I f---ed our relationship up. You were the best thing that happened too me.”
He went on to say that he had tried to reach out to the woman after their time together—but she had filed a restraining order against him.
“Why?” he asked. “At that moment I feel like my entire life ended. I realy (sic) needed you in a huge way. Look @ the mess I created, LoL.”
Ozbilgen seemingly made reference to Parze in this note after telling the ex not to believe everything she heard in the news.
“The girl in the news with me was a piece of s---, she hurt me over and over, when I was already @ my lowest, she was a horrible person,” he wrote.
While authorities believe the notes left behind provided further evidence of his guilt, Ozbilgen’s family continues to maintain his innocence.
“We are very sorry for her family and we hope they can find peace through this nightmare,” the Ozbilgens said in a statement through their attorney Richard Incremona, according to The Patch. “We don’t truly know what happened to Stephanie, but what we do know is John never said that he hurt Stephanie to us or in the note he left us.”
They believe their son took his own life because of the increasing stress he was under.
“We believe he is innocent, but all the pressure from the false child pornography charges and the constant searches and relentlessness caused him to take his own life,” they said.
Prosecutors, however, have argued that Ozbilgen had a history of violence with women.
Three separate women filed domestic violence complaints against him in the last year—including Parze, who filed a simple assault domestic complaint against him on Sept. 23.
Another woman, who identified herself as an ex-girlfriend, told The Asbury Park Press that she had filed charges against him after he choked her unconscious several times while the couple was arguing or having sex. She later dropped the charges after she was unable to attend the required court dates.
Parze’s family plans to create a foundation in her honor to increase awareness of domestic violence and aid families searching for missing family members.
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