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Woman kidnapped in New Mexico and held captive for almost one year escapes to New Jersey gas station

(The AEGIS Alliance) – Last year, a woman who met a man in New Mexico was allegedly kidnapped and brought to New Jersey. She reportedly escaped from her captor by running to a nearby gas station. The man, James W. Parrillo Jr., 57, was arrested on Feb. 7 and charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation, aggravated assault, third-degree criminal restraint, hindering apprehension, and obstruction. He was also accused of refusing to provide a DNA sample.

According to court documents, the woman, whose identity was not disclosed, met Parrillo, who went by the name “Brett Parker,” at a gas station on Interstate 10 in New Mexico in February 2022. She agreed to give him a ride to Arizona, but he physically assaulted her in California, which made her feel trapped in the relationship.

Parrillo allegedly took her phone, and debit cards, and isolated her from her family. They arrived in New Jersey in December and were staying in a rented room in Bass River Township when the woman managed to escape.

During the argument that ensued on Feb. 7, Parrillo began beating and choking the woman. She ran out of the house wearing only shorts and a shirt in 42-degree weather. She planned to flee to the gas station, where she had noticed an interior deadbolt on a previous visit. Once inside, she told an attendant that she had been kidnapped for about a year. Footage from the gas station’s security camera showed Parrillo following the woman and trying to open the door, but he left when he found it locked.

The woman was able to summon the New Jersey State Police, who apprehended Parrillo as he walked down County Road 542. Assistant Attorney General Theresa Hilton argued for pre-trial detention, citing information that Parrillo may have engaged in similar predatory conduct in other states.

Parrillo remains detained at the Burlington County Jail pending trial before Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Garringer in Burlington County.

“This is an alarming case in which the defendant allegedly held a woman against her will for nearly a year, while traveling with her throughout the country, before ending up here in New Jersey where she was able to escape,” Attorney General Platkin noted in a statement. “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 bring justice to this survivor.”

“The allegations of kidnapping and abuse at the hands of the defendant represent a year-long nightmare endured by the victim that spanned several states across the country ultimately coming to an end here in New Jersey,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. He continued “The dedication and diligence of the troopers, detectives, and members of the Division of Criminal Justice are to be commended, but the strength and bravery of the female victim who successfully escaped her assailant is nothing short of heroic.”

Jeffrey Childers – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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