Things That Matter

5-Year-Old Dulce Maria Alavez Is Still Missing— Now Police Are Offering $35,000 Reward For Information

An estimated 2,000 children go missing every day. It’s difficult to understand that number when considering how many children are kidnapped daily, but the harsh reality is that hundreds of thousands of children are reported missing every year. The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File said they have almost 86,000 active missing person reports, and 35 percent of them are 18 and younger. 

Now there’s another little kid to add to that list. 

Two weeks ago, 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing while playing at a park. Her mother wasn’t far away. 

If you live on the East Coast, your phone probably buzzed on Sept. 16 with an Amber Alert for a missing girl. Authorities put out the call for Dulce Maria who was playing at the playground at Bridgeton City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey.  The young girl was playing with her 3-year-old sibling and an 8-year-old relative, while her mom was parked nearby. The 3-year-old boy returned to his mom in tears and told her that Dulce Maria was gone. Authorities have been searching for her ever since. 

The FBI and local authorities are on the case. There’s also a 35,000 reward for information that can lead them to her return. 

“We are asking anyone who may have been at the Bridgeton City Park Recreational Area on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, between the hours of 3–6 p.m. to check their cellphones to see if they took photos and/or videos while they were in the area,” Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae wrote in a press release. “Their media may contain information which seems innocuous to them but is a valuable piece of the puzzle in helping us bring Dulce home to her family.”

As of now, one of the main leads is a witness account that places a man with the young girl. The witness said the man was leading the Dulce Maria to a red van, and that they drove away. 

The FBI also says that Dulce Maria was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala on the front, black and white pants with butterflies and flowers on them, and white dress sandals. According to NJ.com, the suspect was “5-foot-6-inches tall,” he was also “thin build, no facial hair, and facial acne. He was wearing orange sneakers, red pants, and a black shirt.” The young girl was last seen at the playground around 4:50 p.m. While that man is a suspect, police said they don’t have any solid suspects,” 

Her family pleaded with supporters and her community to help find her daughter, including her grandmother, who spoke to the Latino community specifically and said they shouldn’t be afraid to come forward if they have information. 

Norma Perez told Latinos that if they have information that could help police locate Dulce Maria, they should come forward and not be afraid. 

Last week, Perez implied during a press conference that if people have reservations to speak to the police because of their immigration status, they must still help if they can. 

“Please, if you know something that will help us find my granddaughter, don’t be afraid of the police,” Perez said in Spanish. “Please report what you know to the police.” 

Perez went on to say this situation has been very difficult for the entire family. She said they couldn’t eat or sleep because they have no idea how her granddaughter is. 

People gathered at the playground on Saturday where Dulce Maria was last seen to pray for the return of the little girl. 

“A lot of people say candle lights are for the dead, but they’re not,” Jackie Rodriguez said to a crowd of hundreds circled around her Saturday night, according to the Press of Atlantic City. Rodriguez was also responsible for organizing Saturday’s vigil. “I want to bring everybody together so we can pray as one and be as one.”

If you have any information regarding Dulce Maria Alavez please contact the police or the FBI. Your tip can remain anonymous. Click here to reach the FBI or call the Toll-Free Tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) and select option 4, then select option 8. You may also contact your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also text your information to TIP411 subtext Bridgeton.

Anyone with photos or videos from Bridgeton City Park on September 16, 2019, should upload them to the following site: http:www.fbi.gov/alavez Field Office: Newark. To submit an anonymous tip, click here.

READ: Police Have Released A Chilling Report On A Latina Teen Who Has Gone Missing In Detroit

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

Things That Matter

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

A Texas sheriff is eating his words after his bigotted comments came back to bite him in the worst way.

A day after Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn referred to undocumented immigrants as “drunks” who would “run over” children, his own son was reportedly arrested on charges of public intoxication. It has also been revealed that his son Sergei Waybourn has been arrested before. In 2018 he was charged with assault and in recent years he was arrested for trespassing and theft.

Sheriff Waybourn’s comments sparked controversy when he spoke against undocumented immigrants at a press conference in Washington.

Last Thursday, the sheriff spoke at the conference alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence. Speaking in response to a ruling by a federal California judge made last month that imposed restrictions on ICE’s use of “detainers,” Waybourn underlined the consequences of releasing illegal immigrants with DWI and other crimes.

U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr.’s decision barred ICE from using online database searches to find and detain people based. Recently, the ACLU stated that since 2008, 2 million US citizens have been illegally detained because of such searches.

Waybourn pointed to his charge of inmates to give examples of high rates of repeat offenders. “If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” Waybourn said according to New York Post. “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”

After his comments, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens called for Waybourn’s resignation.

According to Dallas Morning News, Domingo Garcia said Waybourn ought to “resign and apologize for his bigoted comments immediately.”

In response, Waybourne said his comments had been taken out of contexts and his office released a statement saying that “Sheriff Waybourn was not referring to all legal or illegal immigrants when making his comments about DWI/DWI repeat offenders. He was speaking toward the charges of DWI and DWI repeat offender in the context of illegal immigration.”

In response to the news of his son’s arrest, the sheriff said he is “deeply saddened by Sergei’s choices.”

According to WFAA, he said that “It has been many years since he disassociated from our family. We, along with many family members have made efforts over the years to help him – all to no avail. It is always sad when drugs take control of a person’s life. His choices and actions have lead to this situation.”

Senior Border Patrol Officer Gets To Retire After Allegedly Kidnapping And Sexually Assaulting Another Agent

Things That Matter

Senior Border Patrol Officer Gets To Retire After Allegedly Kidnapping And Sexually Assaulting Another Agent

customsborder / Instagram

On July 10, former senior Border Patrol agent Gus Zamora, 51, was arrested in Tuscon for sexually assaulting a junior agent. Zamora’s wife is Gloria Chavez, one of the agency’s highest-ranked female officers. Three weeks after he was indicted by a Pima County grand jury, the agency took the only action it has thus far: it allowed him to retire from the agency three weeks after being arrested. Customs and Border Protection defended its actions by telling The New York Times, it “holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.” Zamora attended a pretrial hearing at the Arizona Superior Court in Tucson. He pleaded not guilty.

The victim, identified as R.W. in court documents, told police that she looked up to Zamora as a mentor, given their ten-year age difference and his seniority. Over the years, R.W. had ignored some of his advances, asserting her desire to remain friends. The night of the assault, they met up for dinner and Zamora bought her so many tequila shots, video surveillance shows her falling to her knees as Zamora brought her back to his hotel room where he would later sexually assault her.

Before their dinner, Zamora texted her to ask if she “dressed up” for him, according to The New York Times.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

According to The New York Times, Zamora bought them five rounds of tequila shots, and at one point, she moved away from him after he placed his hand on her left thigh. The Daily Mail reports that Zamora told investigators that he offered R.W. a ride home, to which she declined, saying she didn’t want to be alone. Zamora alleges that she initiated the sex. However, hotel surveillance footage shows Zamora holding R.W. up. At one point, she fell to her knees, according to police documents obtained by The New York Times. 

Those police documents detail how R.W. said she blacked out, only waking up a few times to find herself on the bed. She told police she didn’t feel like she had the capacity to give consent. The rape kit results have not been made public. 

A few days later, R.W. reported the crime to the police, who then recorded her follow-up call to Zamora.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

According to The New York Times, the detective on the case recorded a phone call during which R.W. informed Zamora that the sex was non-consensual. The detective wrote, “he told her to not go there and that it wasn’t like that,” that sex “was never on his mind. They had too many shots,” The New York Times reports. Effectively, Zamora tried to call him out and he just deflected the blame onto both of them. 

When Zamora was eventually called in for an interview, a detective told Zamora that R.W. was in no state to offer consent, to which he “said that he knows, but he wasn’t in a state to consent either,” according to The New York Times

Women make up 5 percent of Border Patrol agents.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

The female agents who do make up the force have voiced their outrage at the agency’s inaction around sexual assault accusations. “There’s not a single woman in the Border Patrol who has either not been sexually assaulted, outright raped or at the very least sexually harassed,” former Border Patrol agent Jenn Budd told The New York Times. Budd’s since become an immigrant rights activist, and urges women to reconsider joining the Border Patrol.

Two days before Zamora allegedly assaulted R.W., Tucson police arrested Border Patrol agent Steven Charles Holmes, 33, for sexually assaulting three women over seven years. 

The agency is already under immense criticism for its high rate of arrest charges brought against Border Patrol agents when compared to other law enforcement agencies.

Credit: @CBP / Twitter

In July 2019, Quartz reported that Border Patrol agents are arrested approximately five times as often as other law enforcement groups. With a budget of over $15 billion and over 60,000 employees, it’s the largest law enforcement agency in the United States. Many critics say the agency is not held to account for its unconstitutional means of coercing migrants to sign removal forms written in English, a language they often cannot understand. 

A Customs Border Patrol spokesperson told El Paso Times that its Office of Professional Responsibility “will review all the facts uncovered to ensure all allegations of misconduct … are thoroughly investigated for appropriate action by the agency.”

READ: US Border Patrol Sent This Man And His Child Back To Mexico And Hours Later They Were Thrown Into Trucks And Abducted