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

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Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

Things That Matter

Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

David McNew / Getty

A shooting that occurred over the weekend in Compton, California has sparked shock, alarm, and outrage.

The shooting occurred sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the gunman made his way toward the passenger’s side of the deputies’ car and shot two deputies with a pistol without precedent.

One of the victims is a 31-year-old mother.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s department tweeted surveillance footage of the shooting which also captured the gunman fleeing the scene.

According to reports, the gunman fired into the deputies’ car without pretext.

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Alex Villanueva, the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, said in a statement. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”

According to Villanueva, both of the deputies (Claudia Apolinar a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man) were sworn in just 14 months ago and are in critical condition at the hospital. According to the sheriff’s department both are “fighting for their lives” but “it looks like they’re going to be able to recover.”

Apolinar and her partner were both shot at close range. Apolinar was shot in the face and torso and her partner sustained multiple gunshot wounds Seeing that he was in need of immediate medical treatment, Apolinar managed to make a tourniquet for him before medics arrived.

According to the New York Post, Apolinar is a former librarian who graduated from the academy last year.

“We’ll see what the long-term impact is. We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst,” Villanueva explained.

Local officials have announced a $100,000 reward for information on the gunman and his whereabouts.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke out against the attack and condemned it in a statement calling “Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on.”

Speaking about the incident, Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff called the attack “cowardly.”

“Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community,” Schiff stated in a post shared to Twitter. “I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice.”

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Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Entertainment

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

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