Police descended upon the home of John Ozbilgen, 29, who'd briefly dated missing makeup artist Stephanie Parze — and allegedly found child porn on his phone
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Stephanie Parze
Credit: Facebook

Authorities searching for clues in the disappearance of a missing New Jersey woman at her ex-boyfriend’s house allegedly found child pornography on his phone, the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office says.

On Friday, authorities descended upon the home of John Ozbilgen, 29, of Freehold, who’d begun a relationship in August with Stephanie Parze, who’s been missing since late October, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Authorities were there looking for any clue as to what happened to the 25-year-old makeup artist, who vanished the night of Oct. 30 after going to see a medium with family members, News 12 New Jersey reports.

Ozbilgen, until recently a stockbroker who worked on Staten Island, has been named a person of interest in the case, the Asbury Park Press, ABC7 Eyewitness News, and NBC New York report, citing law enforcement sources. Ozbilgen has not been charged in connection with Parze’s disappearance.

(Freehold Township Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

More than a dozen police cruisers were seen parked in front of Ozbilgen’s home Friday morning, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Stephanie Parze
Stephanie Parze, 25, of New Jersey

While there, officers conducted a “forensic review” of his iPhone and allegedly found an “image of child pornography,” according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by the Asbury Park Press.

Police also confiscated two other electronic devices, the affidavit says.

Ozbilgen was arrested at his home Friday and charged with one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child – possession of child pornography, the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office says in a statement.

Ozbilgen faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

Ozbilgen was detained in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township pending a detention hearing in Superior Court.

He has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can comment on his behalf.

Stephanie Parze
Stephanie Parze, 25, of New Jersey
| Credit: Freehold Township Police Department

Monmouth County Prosecutor spokesman Chris Swendenman told the Asbury Park Press that the search of Ozbilgen’s home was related to Parze’s disappearance but that the arrest on child pornography charges is unrelated.

Ozbilgen and Parze entered their relationship on Aug. 19, according to Parze’s Facebook page.

‘I Just Want Her Home,’ Says Mom

Parze’s trip to a medium was part of a “girls night out,” her father, Ed Parze, told the Asbury Park Press.

The group returned to her parents’ house at about 10 p.m., the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said on Facebook Nov. 2.

Parze then left for her late grandmother’s home on nearby Meadowbrook Lane, about 10 minutes away, where she’d been staying, sending a Snapchat to her family during the drive home, her father, Ed Parze, told News 12 New Jersey.

That was the last time her parents heard from her.

They grew worried when she failed to show up to watch a family member’s children the next day.

Their fears escalated when they went to the Meadowbrook Lane home to check on her and found her car in the driveway – and saw that she had left her cell phone behind.

“She would never go out of the house without her phone,” Sharlene Parze told News 12 New Jersey. “And she was supposed to be at work and she never showed up. Everything is just not her. … I had just left her. And she was supposed to text me when she got home and she never did, but we know that she made it home because her car was in the driveway.”

Parze’s distraught family has been tirelessly searching for her, posting fliers everywhere they can.

“We just want to find her,” Ed Parze told News 12 New Jersey.

Parze had been dating a man on and off and was “likely” with him that night, her parents told News 12 at the time.

Outgoing and social, Parze “makes everybody feel welcome, regardless of who you are,” her friend, Amanda Gonzalez told the Asbury Park Press.

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Her mother told News 12, “I just want her home.”

Parze is described as 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 115 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing jeans, a burgundy v-neck shirt and a burgundy sweater.

A family friend started a GoFundMe campaign Nov. 4 to support Parze’s family during the search.

Anyone with any information or who has had contact with Parze should contact Detective Shawn Murphy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032, or Detective Daniel Valentine of the Freehold Township Police at 732-462-7908.