Reporting Steve Sandberg
CRANFORD, N.J. (1010 WINS) — Investigators are awaiting toxicology results on a Cranford man to determine whether he had been under the influence of bath salts when he allegedly beat his long-time girlfriend to death.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg speaks with the suspect’s distraught mother
The body of 22-year-old Rutgers student Pamela Schmidt was found Sunday in the basement of William Parisio’s home, police said. Prosecutors said Schmidt died of “traumatic injuries.”
Diane Parisio told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that her son is bipolar, has a history of substance abuse and recently started using bath salts. She doesn’t apologize for or defend her son but insists bath salts are behind his irrational behavior and drove him to allegedly kill Schmidt.
“I’m sad that it’s too late; Pam’s life is an absolute tragedy, I loved that little girl,” Parisio said through tears.
Parisio said when her son was using bath salts he paced back and forth, kept his head down and had a “blank, scary look on his face.”
“Paranoid like you wouldn’t believe, paranoid like I’ve never seen,” Parisio said.
The designer drug, which is sold in convenience stores, gives users a dangerous and violent high similar to the effect of methamphetamines and cocaine. Some experts say the drugs can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts.
New Jersey Assemblywoman Linda Stender is pushing to outlaw the dangerous substance. “We should take the steps now in New Jersey to prevent any further heartbreak to any family,” Stender said. “We have to stop it from being so accesible and criminalize it now.”
Stender calls the drug “Russion roulette in a powder form.”
In January, New York Sen. Charles Schumer called for banning the substance. “They’re made for one thing and one thing only: to get a cheap, quick and often dangerous high,” Schumer said.
Parisio has been charged with first degree murder. He is being held on $400,000 cash bail.