Stephanie Parze search returns to Staten Island on Saturday
As a family prepares for another community search on Staten Island in an effort to locate daughter Stephanie who was last seen over a month ago, the father of another Monmouth County woman who went missing says he understands just what the Parze family is going through.
Stephanie Parze, 25, went missing on Oct. 30 after a night out with family in New Brunswick. 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, her onetime-boyfriend John Ozbilgen, 29, hanged himself at his parents' home after being released from jail on child porn charges. His body was found on Nov. 22.
The Parze family seeks volunteers for a search on Saturday morning of Wolfe's Pond Park near Tottenville High School, a 302-acre park that borders the Raritan Bay. They will also search Long Pond Park near Paige Avenue.
Ozbilgen had lived in the Rossville and Tottenville sections of Staten Island, according to an SILive.com report.
A search is also scheduled for a location to be determined in Freehold Township or Colts Neck on Sunday.
On Monday, Ed Parze and his family appeared on Fox 29's "Good Day Philadelphia," which he called an emotional experience.
"It was intense. When they put the teleprompter on and the story starts before they talk to us and you're watching everything trying to hold it together on stage, trying to hold it together, it's tough. When the commentators start crying, that's a problem," Parze told New Jersey 101.5.
On his ride back from the studio, Parze wrote on his Facebook page that Stephanie's disappearance made him notice things he had taken for granted.
"All of the bodies of water, abandon structures you never noticed before, now call out to you. She could be anywhere," Parze wrote.
"You wonder to yourself, is she up in heaven with God and all of people who love her so. Happy and no longer afraid, or is she hear, living in HELL ON EARTH, praying to be found, fighting to stay alive," he wrote.
Parze told New Jersey 101.5 that he knows the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office is working on the case although they haven't shared much about what they have found.
"They're getting a lot back from the labs. We know they're working out there because I see what they're doing they don't tell you what they're doing," Parze said.
A spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said investigators continue their search.
"Our office remains in close contact with the Parze family. In addition to the massive investigative efforts being undertaken by numerous law enforcement agencies that we cannot disclose at this time, we fully support the family and the volunteers in their recent and ongoing search efforts," spokesman Chris Swendeman said in a written statement.
"We encourage the public to remain vigilant and report anything that may assist law enforcement in locating Stephanie."
Michael Stern, whose daughter Sarah went missing on Dec. 2, 2016, and her car was found on the Route 35 bridge between Neptune Township and Belmar, told New Jersey 101.5 that he has followed Stephanie's disappearance closely.
"It's a very stressful and hurtful situation to a father," Michael said.
He said the the disappearances are "eerily similar but very different."
Two of Sterns friends confessed to killing her for money and throwing her body off the bridge. Her remains have never been recovered.
Michael said it's a "horrible thing to go through for anyone' family, friends and relatives. It's a very difficult thing."
He said they family spruced up a memorial on the Route 35 bridge to commemorate Sarah's favorite season. A fundraiser to benefit a scholarship fund established to in Sarah's name featuring the Pat Roddy Band is scheduled for the Headliner in Neptune City on Sunday, Dec. 15.
More from New Jersey 101.5