Viral video shows the moment a woman was able to escape her alleged kidnapper who held her captive for nearly a year, according to authorities.
Surveillance footage shows a shoeless woman fleeing to a gas station in Burlington County, New Jersey. The video shows the woman running into the gas station while a man marches behind her. According to gas station employee Jamie Garthaus, the man yelled, “You don’t want to do this.”
“The lady came running, like barefoot, and she was like, ‘He kidnapped me,'” Garthaus told NBC10 Philadelphia. “So, we ran inside and locked the door.”
Video from inside the gas station shows the woman being consoled by gas station employees on Feb. 7.
The woman told authorities that she met the man at a gas station in New Mexico in February 2022. The woman said James W. Parrillo asked her for a ride to Arizona, and she obliged. During the drive, the pair began to have a romantic relationship, according to the attorney general’s office.
However, the woman accused Parrillo of assaulting her a month later when they were in California. The woman said that she felt unable to leave the relationship. Parrillo confiscated the woman’s phone and debit cards, prohibited her from communicating with her family, and held her against her will, according to investigators.
They drove across the country and ended up in New Jersey in December.
They rented a room at a house near the gas station in Bass River Township, where she said Parrillo strangled and assaulted her. The woman told the police that she noticed the deadbolt at the gas station during a prior visit. Once the opportunity presented itself, the woman allegedly sprinted out of the house wearing just a shirt and shorts.
The woman told police that Parrillo had kept her captive for nearly a year.
NBC News reported, “A New Jersey State Police affidavit of probable cause filed in court said the victim had marks on her neck.”
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said in a statement, “This is a deeply disturbing 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.”
“We are reaching out to law enforcement across jurisdictions to identify other people who may have additional information on the defendant,” Platkin said. “Our investigation is ongoing and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure we bring justice to this survivor.”
Colonel Patrick J. Callahan with the New Jersey State Police stated, “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.”
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