Within the 12 months since her daughter Stephanie was killed by an abusive boyfriend, Sharlene Parze has been haunted by the shut bond they shared.
“We did all the pieces collectively — holidays, holidays, day journeys, simply going out to dinner, films,” stated the mom, who finds reminders of her daughter in all places, by no means figuring out when one will set off despair.
“Now we simply have a gap,” Sharlene Parze, 53, stated by means of tears in an interview from her Freehold, NJ, residence Thursday.
“It’s all you ever take into consideration, your thoughts by no means shuts off — reliving what she was pondering when it was taking place, attempting to see her face, not having the ability to maintain her, kiss her or hug her ever once more.”
As the primary anniversary of the disappearance and demise of the 25-year-old New Jersey make-up artist approaches, her distraught dad and mom maintain on to at least one remaining hope for securing solutions about what occurred to their daughter on the evening of Oct. 30, 2019.
Robbed of closure by the suicide of Parze’s suspected killer, John Ozbilgen, Parze’s household — and Monmouth County prosecutors — are actually honing in on what Ozbilgen instructed his dad and mom earlier than he died.
“We would like the reality to come back out,” Sharlene Parze stated.
Her husband, Ed Parze, 55, added, “How can they defend their son once they know he dedicated this crime? Man up, do the appropriate factor.
“It doesn’t matter what they discover, it is not going to carry Stephanie again. It’s going to give us extra of an understanding, in the event that they do know something. I hate to suppose this occurred, and so they coated it up.”
The Parzes by no means heard from their daughter once more after she left their home on Halloween eve, following an evening out along with her mom and sisters to go to a New Brunswick psychic. She despatched her mother a Snapchat message whereas driving again to her own residence close by, however calls and texts the subsequent morning went unanswered.
The household instantly suspected Parze’s on-and-off-again boyfriend, Ozbilgen, a 29-year-old stockbroker who had lately moved from Staten Island to suburban Freehold Township. He had been charged with attacking Parze and a second girl between June and October, 2019.
“The minute we couldn’t discover her, I stated, ‘The place is he?’” Ed Parze recalled. “These had been the primary phrases out of my mouth.”
Ozbilgen admitted he spent the evening at Parze’s on Oct. 30, and claimed she was alive when he left the subsequent morning.
However he remained the principal particular person of curiosity as 1000’s of volunteers scoured woodlands from Freehold Township to Staten Island within the subsequent few months trying to find Stephanie’s physique. In November, cops arrested Ozbilgen on baby porn costs, after discovering photographs in his telephone, whereas persevering with to attempt to squeeze him for a confession.
However Ozbilgen by no means copped to the homicide. And as investigators circled, their prime suspect hanged himself his mother or father’s storage on Nov. 22.
He left behind a minimum of two notes, which hinted at murder however by no means disclosed the whereabouts of Stephanie’s physique.
“I dug myself in a deep gap. That is the one selection,” he wrote.
Her stays had been lastly found three months later, within the weeds simply off the shoulder of Freeway 9 about 10 miles north of Freehold in Outdated Bridge, NJ. They had been too decomposed for authorities to find out how she was killed, her dad and mom stated.
Whereas the Ozbilgens have maintained their son’s innocence, and their very own, authorities insist he didn’t take all of his secrets and techniques to the grave.
Prosecutors “consider there have been texts between them [Ozbilgen and his parents] after he killed her. They consider he confessed to his dad and mom early on,” stated a legislation enforcement supply.
Hakan and Cynthia Ozbilgen are actually the topic of an evidence-tampering investigation, the supply stated. Prosecutors have additionally mentioned hindering prosecution and obstruction of justice costs.
Authorities suspect the 2 might have deleted messages exchanged with their son — probably essential proof — shortly after Parze was reported lacking, the supply stated. Authorities additionally consider they withheld one of many suicide notes their son wrote, in response to the supply, and so they refuse to show over their cellphone passwords so their gadgets may be searched.
Hakan Ozbilgen, 55, admitted withholding the passwords in an interview with The Put up Friday. He blames legislation enforcement for his son’s demise and isn’t in a cooperative temper.
“The explanation why my son took his life will not be as a result of he did one thing to this poor woman, it’s as a result of he was charged with baby pornography. He couldn’t deal with it,” Hakan Ozbilgen seethed. “I’m so offended at them, that’s why I’m speaking like this.”
Prosecutors say they made the disturbing discovery of 10 photographs of younger ladies and infants being abused on Ozbilgen’s cellphone whereas they had been scanning the system for clues on Parze. They arrested him Nov. 8, 2019, on the cost of possession of kid pornography, and he spent the subsequent 11 days in jail. He killed himself three days after his launch on bail.
Hakan Ozbilgen believes the fees had been false and meant to stress his son.
“This is the reason I can’t stand the prosecutor. They would depart him within the [cell], 9 days by himself, after which each morning they’d have a feminine guard go in and he or she would say, ‘John, do you see what number of costs they received in opposition to you at the moment?’ They had been utilizing this feminine officer, and what they actually wished him to do was they wished him to go like insane on her . . . so they may say he has some type of bias in opposition to girls, and it’s not true. It’s not true,” the daddy stated.
“You guys are the murderers,” Ozbilgen stated, referring to prosecutors. “My son had nothing to do along with her disappearance. Prosecutors lied by means of their tooth.”
Ozbilgen’s father even explains away among the most incriminating clues linking his son to Parze’s disappearance — his suicide notes and 10 expletive-laden textual content messages he despatched to Parze, together with one calling her a “f–king c–t, the evening earlier than she died.
He claims his son had purpose to be upset as a result of Parze “was concerned with 5 or 6 different guys.” He then shortly added, “There are a pair issues I do know that I received’t say, as a result of I don’t need to make her look unhealthy. She’s not right here, my son will not be right here.”
The daddy stated his son was a gentleman, not the raging misogynist he’s made out to be.
“My son dated a whole lot of ladies. … There could be much more ladies on the market saying one thing about him. My son was 6’ 4, he was attractive, he had brown hair, inexperienced eyes, once I walked within the mall with him, ladies would flip round and stare at him. He was a gorgeous child.”
However one ex did complain — telling the Asbury Park Press that Ozbilgen would choke her throughout intercourse and arguments, typically till she handed out.
Prosecutors consider Stephanie might have died throughout “tough intercourse” with Ozbilgen, the legislation enforcement supply stated.
“His dad and mom had been properly conscious of his battering of ladies and his want for tough intercourse, and so when he received himself in hassle, he would simply go to his dad and mom to get him out of jail,” the supply stated. “It might make sense if he killed her in the midst of tough intercourse. It might make sense he referred to as his father and stated he killed her.”
In the meantime prosecutors’ stalemate with the Ozbilgens continues.
“There’s an open investigation into [the Ozbilgens] personal actions, into hindering and obstruction within the aftermath throughout the investigation by the state,” Monmouth County assistant prosecutor Caitlin Sidley stated final month, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Prosecutors declined to reply questions from The Put up, citing an ongoing investigation.
The Parzes are well-known of their Freehold group by means of their 4 daughters, Ed’s work as a volunteer EMT and limo-company proprietor, and their over-the-top Christmas mild show on their residence alongside Route 33.
“We all the time had individuals at our home, that was our factor,” Sharlene recalled about their ladies, who vary in age from 14 to 23, seemingly all the time having mates over.
Cynthia Ozbilgen, a cosmetologist, and husband Hakan, an MTA bus driver, each initially from Brooklyn, moved to Freehold Township in 2018 after elevating their sons in Rossville, Staten Island.
Simply three months after Stephanie and John met, Parze accused Ozbilgen of assaulting her. However Ozbilgen all the time appeared to discover a approach to lure Parze — who “regarded for the very best in all people,” in response to her father — again in.
Finally, Parze, who was simply 4-foot-11 and 115 kilos, grew to worry her hulking boyfriend, Ed Parze stated, and have become withdrawn from her household.
“Two days earlier than, I stated to her, ‘I actually really feel such as you’re going MIA on us, you’re not coming over, you’re not calling,” Sharlene Parze stated.
The tragedy — and all they’ve realized about home violence since — has impressed the Parzes to begin a nonprofit they hope to make use of to assist different victims of abuse and their households, the Stephanie Nicole Parze Basis.
“We simply don’t need anybody to neglect her,” Sharlene Parze stated.