FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The ex-boyfriend of missing Freehold woman Stephanie Parze was found dead Friday morning.
The startling development brought many of the officers working her case to his Freehold Township home.
The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office said the body of John Ozbilgen was discovered there. Ozbilgen, 29, was a stockbroker who police say sent 10 angry unanswered texts to his former girlfriend the night before she went missing. The cause of death is suicide by hanging.
Police eyed him as their top person of interest in the Parze disappearance, he was recently arrested on unrelated child pornography charges. He was released from jail on Tuesday.
BREAKING: John Ozbilgen found deceased at his Freehold home this morning. We do not believe his death was suspicious at this time. Ozbilgen was recently released from jail after being charged with Possession of Child Pornography. Investigation remains active more to follow.
— Monmouth Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) November 22, 2019
“They were happy to have him back trying to get back to normal, then this occurred. Found him this morning. Police were already outside, so they went to them, they were unable to revive him and obviously John passed,” said Ozbilgen family attorney Richard Incremona.
It’s a complication for the Parze investigation, with no identified suspects and no sign of her, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Parze, a 25-year-old cosmetologist and nanny, was last seen leaving a family outing in New Brunswick on Oct. 30. Her car and cellphone were found at her grandmother’s home, indicating she made it back there before she disappeared.
Investigators searched wooded areas of Staten Island – where Ozbilgen previously lived – on two separate occasions. CBS2 has learned investigators tracked unusual activity on Staten Island from Ozbilgen’s cellphone around the time Stephanie disappeared.
Family members and volunteers also searched around Freehold Township earlier this week.
Family members declined when asked to comment about Ozbilgen taking his own life. The family is expected to say a few words Saturday morning when they meet with searchers who will gather here at the local firehouse, before heading off into nearby wooded areas, to spend long hours looking for the missing 25-year-old.
“You want to find something, but you don’t want to find something and it’s hard to explain that,” Parze’s father Ed told CBS2 during the most recent volunteer search for her.
There’s no word if Ozbilgen left a note or anything to help the case was said by him before this happened.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call Det. Shawn Murphy at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032 or Det. Daniel Valentine at 732-462-7908.