A 29-year-old New Jersey man who had been named a person of interest in the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend died by suicide, prosecutors said.
John Ozbilgen was found dead by his parents at their Freehold Township home on Friday morning, his attorney, Robert Honecker, told NBC News in a statement.
A medical examiner determined that he had taken his own life, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said in a tweet.
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Ozbilgen was considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Stephanie Parze, it was revealed during a hearing earlier this week on a separate case involving child pornography. He allegedly had various images on his cellphone depicting acts of sexual violence on children, some as young as 2 years old, NBC New York reported.
The photos were found during the investigation into the disappearance of 25-year-old Parze, who was last seen at her Freehold Township home around 10 p.m. on Oct. 30.
Honecker said Ozbilgen “strongly denied and maintained his innocence” in regard to the pornography charge. As far as Ozbilgen being classified as a person of interest in the Parze case, Honecker said in his statement: “At the time of his death, no charges relating to her disappearance were filed against John Ozbilgen.”
Parze’s parents told NBC New York that she dropped them off at their home after a night out with family and then drove to her home where she lives alone, about 10 miles away. She has not been heard from since.
Ozbilgen was arrested on Nov. 8 on the child pornography charge and had been released from jail days before he took his own life. At his hearing, prosecutors said there were three domestic violence charges against Ozbilgen filed by three women, NBC New York reported.
The latest case was brought by Parze. In another domestic violence case, one of the alleged victims, a woman in Staten Island, was granted a restraining order against Ozbilgen, according to NBC New York.
Last week, authorities in New Jersey and the New York City Police Department searched a park on Staten Island close to where Ozbilgen used to live, NBC New York reports.
When contacted Saturday, the NYPD and Freehold Township Police Department told NBC News to direct questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, which did not immediately return a request for comment.