STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The father of missing New Jersey woman Stephanie Parze posted a heartbreaking message about the family’s quest to locate her several weeks after the 25-year-old woman mysteriously disappeared from her home in Freehold.
Police and volunteers have searched wooded areas on the South Shore of Staten Island numerous times as they attempt to find her.
“Sitting on the set, watching the teleprompter, beginning the story was painful,” he wrote. “All of us fought to hold it together before going live. Then the interview. It lasted only 6 minutes but it felt like an hour.”
He poignantly described what he was thinking during the car ride home in the storm.
“As I drive, all I can do is look into the what seems like endless wooded areas along the highways,” he wrote. “All of the bodies of water, abandoned structures you never noticed before, now call out to you. She could be anywhere!
“As the rain and snow fall harder and harder, covering up any clues, any trace as to where she might be out there. You wonder to yourself, is she up in heaven with God and all of [the] people who love her so. Happy and no longer afraid, or is she here, living in HELL ON EARTH, praying to be found, fighting to stay alive.”
The father clings to the hope that she will return home.
“Stephanie, we love you and we will never stop doing all that we can to find you,” he wrote. “Don’t be afraid, stay strong, hold on to what ever HOPE you can. PLEASE …DON’T GIVE UP,” he wrote.
Parze was last seen leaving her parents’ house en route to her own home on Oct. 30.
John Ozbilgen, 29, Parze’s one-time boyfriend, hanged himself in his family’s garage in Freehold on Nov. 22 after he was released from jail following his arrest on Nov. 8 for an unrelated charge of possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors identified Ozbilgen, who previously lived in Rossville and Tottenville, as a person of interest in the woman’s disappearance. He sent Parze 10 unanswered, angry text messages the night before her disappearance, according to NJ.com.