Woman escapes alleged kidnapper after ‘year-long nightmare,’ officials say

Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 2:44 PM EST
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TRENTON, N.J. (Gray News) - Authorities in New Jersey said a woman escaped from a man who allegedly held her captive for a year.

Police arrested 57-year-old James W. Parrillo Jr. on Feb. 7 after the woman escaped a residence they lived at in the Bass River Township and reported to authorities she allegedly had been kidnapped, according to a press release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

“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 with the New Jersey State Police in the press release.

The press release reported the woman said she had first met Parrillo in February 2022 in New Mexico. She told authorities she was at first in a voluntary relationship with Parrillo until they traveled to California where she said he allegedly began assaulting her.

Authorities said at that time, the woman reported Parillo took away her phone, and debit cards, and isolated her from her family. The press release stated the woman felt as if she was unable to leave the relationship.

According to authorities, the two made their way to New Jersey in December of last year.

James w. Parrillo Jr. faces a string of charge, including first-degree kidnapping,...
James w. Parrillo Jr. faces a string of charge, including first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation, aggravated assault, and third-degree criminal restraint.(Burlington County Jail via CNN Newsource)

The press release reported the woman said that Parrillo was assaulting her in the rented residence they shared with others when he realized they were not alone and stopped. The woman told authorities she seized the opportunity at that moment to run out of the house, wearing just a shirt and shorts in 42-degree weather.

Authorities reported she ran to a nearby gas station, where she had noted during a previous visit that there was an interior deadbolt on the door.

Upon arriving at the gas station, the woman locked the door and told the attendant that she had been kidnapped for a year, according to the press release.

The press release reported security footage showed Parrillo following the woman to the gas station and attempting to open the door, only to leave when he realized it was locked.

The gas attendant called police, who later apprehended Parrillo while he walked on the side of a country road.

Parrillo was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation and aggravated assault, and third-degree criminal restraint.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure we bring justice to this survivor,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in the press release.

According to the press release, Parrillo also faces other charges stemming from his arrest, including third-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree obstruction and refusing to provide a DNA sample.