Man Charged For Kidnapping, Keeping Woman Hostage For Nearly A Year

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police today announced the arrest of a man charged with kidnapping a woman he met in New Mexico last year, traveling to New Jersey with her, and assaulting her in the Burlington County residence where they rented a room.

James W. Parrillo Jr., 57, was arrested on February 7, after the woman allegedly escaped from the Bass River Township residence they shared and fled to a nearby gas station. Parrillo is charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation and aggravated assault, and third-degree criminal restraint.

According to information placed on the record during court proceedings and documents filed in the case, the victim met the defendant, whom she knew as “Brett Parker”, at a gas station on Interstate 10 in New Mexico sometime in February 2022. At his request, she agreed to give him a ride to Arizona. The woman said she was in a voluntary relationship with the defendant for about a month when he physically assaulted her while the two were in California, at which point she felt unable to leave the relationship. During their time together, Parrillo allegedly took away the woman’s phone, confiscated and utilized her debit cards, and isolated her from her family. The pair allegedly arrived in New Jersey sometime in December.

Parrillo was detained at the Burlington County Jail pending trial following a hearing before Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Garringer in Burlington County on Wednesday. In successfully arguing for pre-trial detention, Assistant Attorney General Theresa Hilton said information provided by the alleged victim, along with information found on social media and other online sites, indicate that Parrillo may have engaged in similar predatory conduct with individuals in other states and that public safety demands he not be released.

According to statements made in court and documents filed in the case, Parrillo and the alleged victim had been staying in the rented room in Bass for about two weeks when she managed to escape. Noticing an interior deadbolt on the door of a nearby gas station during a prior visit, the alleged victim planned to flee to safety there when an opportunity presented itself. On February 7, when Parrillo began beating and choking her during an argument inside the residence, which they shared with several other individuals. Parrillo allegedly ceased assaulting the woman when he realized the two were not alone in the house and she ran from the house with nothing on but shorts and a shirt in the 42-degree weather.

Once inside the gas station, the woman bolted the door and told an attendant she had been kidnapped for approximately a year. Footage from the station’s security camera shows Parrillo following the woman to the gas station and attempting to open the door, then leaving when he found it locked. An attendant at the station summoned New Jersey State Police who apprehended Parrillo a short time later as he walked down County Road 542. Parrillo is also charged with third-degree hindering apprehension, and fourth-degree obstruction and refusing to provide a DNA sample.

Assistant Attorney General Theresa Hilton is prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice, with assistance from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

An ongoing investigation is being led by New Jersey State Police.

First-degree kidnapping carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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