An arrest was made in New Jersey after a terrifying cross-country year-long kidnapping of a New Mexico woman.
According to police, a woman who was held against her will was able to break free earlier this month in New Jersey, leading to the arrest of her alleged captor, 57-year-old James W. Parrillo.
Police say Parrillo choked the woman on multiple occasions and threatened to kill her and her family if she tried to flee.
An affidavit of probable cause filed by police in support of the kidnapping charge alleges that Parrillo may have engaged in similar “predatory conduct” in other states and is known to go by multiple aliases.
Attorney General Matt Platkin said that they are reaching out to law enforcement across jurisdictions to identify other people who may have additional information on Parrillo, and that their investigation is ongoing.
Parrillo is currently being held in jail while the charges are pending.
Authorities say Parrillo initially befriended the woman in February 2022 at a gas station on Interstate 10 in New Mexico, introducing himself as “Brett Parker” and asking her for a ride to Arizona.
While they had a consensual relationship that ended about a month later in California, Parrillo allegedly threatened the woman, making her feel unable to leave the relationship.
According to officials, Parrillo took the woman’s phone, used her debit cards, and refused to allow her to have contact with her family during the year-long ordeal.
In late December 2022, the pair turned up in Burlington County and Parrillo, still using the name “Brett Parker,” rented a room on the second floor of a home.
On February 7, the woman was able to escape after Parrillo choked her during an argument.
Running to a nearby gas station, the woman informed two attendants that she had been kidnapped and held her against her will for about a year.
According to the service station manager, the woman was terrified and had marks on her neck.
Shortly after, Parrillo arrived at the gas station and tried to enter, but was not permitted.
According to New Jersey State Police, Parrillo refused to give his real name to troopers and was arrested for hindering his own apprehension. Parrillo was taken to a State Police barracks for further investigation.
Court records reveal Parrillo has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, criminal restraint, and obstruction, as well as refusing to give a DNA sample.
Parrillo is currently pending a court hearing and is being held at the Burlington County Detention Center.