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.