How volunteers can help in search for Freehold’s Stephanie Parze
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — The family of a missing 25-year-old township woman haven't given up hope in finding her alive and they're still counting on volunteers to help with the search.
On Tuesday, friends and supporters of Stephanie Parze, who vanished from her home nearly a month ago, conducted their fourth independent search. Another search may happen on Friday.
Search organizers have asked volunteers to fill out a weekly sign-up form. Would-be volunteers are warned that each search could take up to three to five hours of their time. They also should dress appropriately for muddy conditions and to avoid using their cellphones.
Al Della Fave — who is retired from the State Police, Port Authority police and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office — said the volunteers should keep an eye out for discarded clothing and areas that look like they've been trampled or disturbed.
He suggested that a search dog be brought in to try and track Parze's scent after smelling clothes from her closets.
Parze went missing on Oct. 30 after a night out with family at a New Brunswick show starring a medium. Parze's car, phone, purse and the shoes that she wore that night were left at her late grandmother's home, where she was living with pets. There has been no sign of her since.
A person of interest in the case, John Ozbilgen 29, hanged himself at his parents' home. His body was found Friday morning, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Ozbilgen had been released from custody last Tuesday after being arrested days earlier on a charge of possession of images of child pornography, which investigators said they found on his phone during their search for Stephanie Parze.
No one has been charged in the missing person's case.
Parze's father, Edward, welcomed volunteers to Durand Park in the East Freehold section of the township to search the park and two other areas. Parze told New Jersey 101.5 that the three prior searches did not turn up anything significant.
The Parze family remain hopeful that they will bring Stehanie Parze home safely. Edward said the nights are the hardest but family and friends offer support during the day.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office is not participating in the search but supports the family and the volunteers in their efforts, according to spokesman Charles Webster.
"Everyone is anxious to find Stephanie and help bring her home to her family. We encourage the public to be vigilant and report anything they think may be helpful in learning Stephanie's whereabouts," Webster said.
Webster asked anyone with information about Parze's disappearance to call 800-533-7443.
More from New Jersey 101.5