Man Accused Of Holding Woman Captive For Almost A Year In Cross-Country Kidnapping Scheme

man holds woman hostage cross country escapes nj
Source: New Jersey State Police, Mega

Feb. 20 2023, Published 9:32 a.m. ET

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A woman held against her will in a yearlong, cross-country kidnapping escaped in New Jersey earlier this month, leading to the arrest of her accused captor, authorities said.

On Feb. 7, James Parrillo Jr., 57, was taken into custody after the woman, who was not identified, escaped from a rented room at a residence in Burlington County and sought help at a nearby gas station.

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Court documents state the victim met Parrillo, whom she knew as “Brett Parker,” at a gas station in New Mexico sometime in February 2022. He asked for a ride to Arizona, and she agreed to drive him.

The victim said she was in a voluntary relationship with Parrillo for about a month when he physically assaulted her while they were in California, but she felt unable to leave the relationship.

During their time together, Parrillo allegedly took her phone away, confiscated and used her debit cards and isolated her from her family. The duo arrived in New Jersey in December.

The woman said they were renting a room in Bass for about two weeks when she managed to escape. While at the nearby gas station on a previous visit, she noticed an interior deadbolt on the door and planned on fleeing to safety there when she had the opportunity.

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On Feb. 7, the woman claimed, Parrillo allegedly began beating and choking her during an argument inside their residence they shared with several other people.

When he realized they were not alone, he stopped and she ran from the house with nothing on but shorts and a shirt in the 42-degree weather, according to police.

New Jersey

The woman made it inside the gas station, bolted the door and told the attendant she had been held against her will for almost a year.

In security camera footage shared by, Parrillo can be seen following the woman to the gas station and attempting to open the door but leaving when he found it was locked.

The gas station attendant took the woman to a back room and called New Jersey State Police. Officers arrested Parrillo shortly afterwards walking down a nearby road.

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Assistant Attorney General Theresa Hilton said an investigation determined Parrillo may have engaged in similar conduct with individuals in other states.

Director Pearl Minato of the Division of Criminal Justice said, “The allegations, if proven, demonstrate a level of predatory conduct that poses an extreme danger to anyone who crosses paths with this defendant.”

Parrillo was booked into the Burlington County Jail and charged with kidnapping, strangulation, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, hindering apprehension, obstruction and refusing to provide a DNA sample.

The New Jersey State Police investigation is ongoing.


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