A New Jersey man has been arrested after allegedly holding a woman captive for nearly a year.
James W. Parrillo Jr. apparently held an unnamed victim against her will in a Burlington County residence over the course of the last year, choking her multiple times and threatening to kill her if she ever left, according to the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office. However, it was on February 7 that the victim made her perilous escape, where she fled the residence and biked to a nearby gas station — with him chasing close behind.
In surveillance footage, the woman can be seen arriving at the gas station and quickly explaining her situation, before being brought into the back office where she could be kept safe behind a locked door until authorities arrived. Parrillo arrived at the gas station shortly after, and can be seen in surveillance footage attempting to enter the dead-bolted door, telling her, “You don’t want to do this,” according to the station manager, Jaitin“Bobby“ Madaan.
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Authorities then arrived at the scene and began questioning Parrillo, who refused to provide his real name, which led to his arrest for obstruction. Investigators later discovered that the victim met Parrillo, who introduced himself as “Brett Parker” at a New Mexico gas station sometime last year. Authorities say he asked her for a ride to Arizona, and the two ended up engaging in a short relationship, which ended a month later in California. However, Parrillo allegedly choked her and made her feel “that she was unable to leave the relationship,” according to investigators. The 57-year-old perpetrator apparently then took her phone, used her credit cards, and didn’t allow her to contact her family members.
Then, in late 2022, the pair arrived in Burlington County, where Parrillo rented a room on the second floor of the Bass River Township, under his alias, where they remained until the victim escaped earlier this month.
Madaan told authorities when the woman arrived at the gas station, she was “terrified”:
“She was shaking, she could barely get her words together but she kept saying, ‘He has kept me against my will for over a year. He kidnapped me.’”
Absolutely horrid. It was lucky that gas station operator was there to help her.
In an affidavit of probable cause filed by police, one officer wrote the victim escaped “once she had an opportunity,” adding that her claims of strangulation aligned with the marks that were apparent on her neck. Parrillo later admitted to choking her.
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Attorney General Matt Platkin later explained that the suspect may even have conducted similar behavior in other states:
“We are reaching out to law enforcement across jurisdictions to identify other people who may have additional information on the defendant. Our investigation is ongoing and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure we bring justice to this survivor.”
As of now, the suspect is being held at the Burlington County Jail while awaiting trial on charges of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, criminal restraint, and obstruction, according to court documents. Pearl Minato, the director of the Division of Criminal Justice, explained:
“The allegations, if proven, demonstrate a level of predatory conduct that poses an extreme danger to anyone who crosses paths with this defendant.”
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We hope to see justice served to the fullest extent.
[Images via New Jersey State Police & NBC/YouTube]