NEPTUNE, N.J. – Nearly 200 law enforcement officials searched marshlands in Staten Island this week in the investigation into the disappearance of a 25-year-old New Jersey woman.
Setphanie Parze of Freehold Township disappeared on Oct. 30 after returning from an outing with friends to a psychic medium in New Brunswick, her family has said.
This is at least the second time authorities have conducted a search in Staten Island related to Parze's disappearance, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The first search was Nov. 4.
The area is marshland, surrounded by thick vegetation. At least one investigator was seen carrying a machete to cut through the thicket. Other officers were seen wearing backpacks and carrying walking sticks.
Law enforcement officers from at least five different agencies are involved in Wednesday's search, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
He did did not say exactly what led police back to Staten Island.
“Information and evidence we’ve induced have caused us to want to look again in that area,” Gramiccioni said.
Authorities have been tight-lipped about their investigation into Parze's disappearance. However, there have been some visible signs. In addition to the two searches on Staten Island, officials also searched the Freehold Township home of Parze's onetime boyfriend, John D. Ozbilgen.
Ozbilgen, a 29-year-old stockbroker, is originally from Staten Island and worked for a Staten Island brokerage firm until recently.
Authorities initially said the Nov. 8 search of Ozbilgen's residence was unrelated to Parze's disappearance. However, on Sunday they clarified that the search was indeed tied to her disappearance. Ozbilgen's arrest on child pornography charges later that day, however, was not related to her disappearance, according to Swendeman.
There have been no arrests made in connection with Parze's disappearance.
Parze's family last saw her during the Oct. 30 trip to New Brunswick. She then went to her grandmother's home in the township, where she had been living since her grandmother died in 2018.
The next day, her mother found Parze's car parked in her driveway, but she was not there. She also discovered her daughter's cellphone with a text message from a family whose children she was scheduled to watch, wondering where she was.
Follow Joshua Chung on Twitter @Joshchunggg
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Stephanie Parze: 200 people search marshland for missing NJ woman