Things That Matter

The Family Of A Missing 5-Year-Old Girl Is Officially Taking Action Into Their Own Hands To Search For Her

The family of Dulce Maria Alavez, a 5-year-old who may have been kidnapped from a park in Cumberland County, New Jersey over 5 weeks ago, plan to stage another massive search for her this weekend.

The little girl’s relatives have recruited volunteers to sweep the area around a 1,100 acre Bridgeton City Park. They will also go door to door passing out fliers. This will mark the third search organized by the family this month. The search will start at 9 AM on Sunday at the park’s baseball field.

Dulce’s family has not given up hope and have looked relentlessly for the little girl.

“We will never give up the hope that she will be found,” Norma Perez Alavez told the Philadelphia Inquirer in Spanish. 

The family hopes to comb new areas of the park in their search.

“We will be combing new areas,” said a family spokesperson. “We will be going door-to-door passing out fliers. We will never give up on you, Dulce Maria. And we are asking you, the public, not to give up on her.”

Police will not be involved in the search and no suspects have been identified in the girl’s disappearance. The New Jersey State Police Unions have announced that they will give an additional $10,000 reward, making the total reward for providing information about Dulce’s whereabouts, is now $52,000.

“They’re not blaming the police, they’re just upset there are no answers for them,” a spokeswoman said of the investigation. 

A previous search was organized by Will Rackley and Christine James — strangers to the family who decided to help. 

“My heart goes out to Dulce Alavez and I felt like doing something for her,” Rackley told NJ.com

The pair organized a group of searchers to comb the park last weekend. 

“This is a 5-year-old child that is missing that deserves to be with her family,” James said. “She deserves to grow up with her little brother. We have to do something.”

Dulce’s disappearance sparks public support.

Police say Dulce was kidnapped from Bridgeton Park by a man driving a red van on September 16. The man allegedly lured the 5-year-old into the sliding door on the passenger side of his the red vehicle with tinted windows. He drove away, leaving Dulce’s 3-year-old brother crying and pointing to the area where she had been. Their mother was approximately 30 yards away in her car helping her 8-year-old sister with her homework.

The man who kidnapped Dulce was described as between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build and no facial hair. 

Authorities released a police sketch of a man they want to speak with. He is not a suspect. He is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old. He was described as wearing a white t-shirt, white baseball cap, and blue jeans.

‘He is simply a possible witness we want to speak with at this time,’ said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae in a press release. 

Police release the 9-1-1 call placed by Dulce’s mother.

“Um, I can’t find my daughter,” said Noema Alavez Perez, Dulce’s mother, in a released 9-1-1 call. “We were there at the park … and people say that somebody … probably somebody took her.”

Noema said she found her son crying but could not find Dulce. People told the mother the little girl had been taken. 

“Me and my sister we came down, but when we got here, at the park, she wasn’t here,” she said. “They said somebody threw his ice cream on the floor and my daughter just ran away.” 

After receiving the call and a report that a man had led Dulce into the red van, police issued an amber alert. 

Police searches fail to find the missing girl.

Following Dulce’s disappearance, police began a search accompanied by K-9 units to comb Bridgeton Park. New Jersey State Police flew a helicopter overhead, while several boats surveyed a nearby canal.

Dulce was least seen wearing a yellow shirt, white sandals, and checkered pants. She has long black hair that was tied in a ponytail. CCTV footage showed Dulce buying ice cream with her mother, brother, and the mother’s little sister. According to the Dailymail, investigators suggested to Noema that a family member could have played a role in Dulce’s kidnapping. Noema and her mother vehemently deny the assertion.

Anyone with information should call the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2554, or the Bridgeton police at 856-451-0033. Tips can also be phoned into: 1-800-CALL-FBI (select option 4, then select option 8).

Anonymous tips may also be sent by text to TIP411 with “Bridgeton” in the message line.

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Daunte Wright’s Mother Says ‘justice isn’t even a word to me’ After Police Officer Charged With Manslaughter

Things That Matter

Daunte Wright’s Mother Says ‘justice isn’t even a word to me’ After Police Officer Charged With Manslaughter

Updated April 15, 2021.

Another Black man is dead, killed by the police.

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man from Minnesota was murdered on Sunday after a police officer pulled him over for a traffic violation. In an attempt to take in Wright after realizing he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, it is being said that the officer meant to use her Taser but accidentally fired her gun.

Police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota are saying that Wright’s attempt to reenter his car prompted the police fire.

Body camera footage of the Sunday incident was released for the first time on Monday during a news conference. Footage of the killing shows Wright outside of his car when authorities were attempting to place him under arrest. At one point, in the footage he can be seen attempting to reenter his vehicle, prompting a struggle with officers.

“I’ll tase ya,” a woman officer told Wright in the video after he attempted to kick her. “Taser, Taser, Taser!” the officer is heard yelling in the video before saying “Oh shit! I just shot him.”

Potter has since been arrested on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

The 48-year-old resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department three days after she shot Wright. She has since bonded out on $100,000 bail. and is currently facing a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

During a news conference, members of Wright’s family spoke about holding Potter responsible.

Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, underlined We’re still never going to be able to see our baby boy that we’re never going to have again… So when people say justice, I just shake my head.”

According to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, the officer meant to reach for her Taser.

Instead, she grabbed her gun.

“This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon claimed.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the officer in the incident as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the police department. Potter is now on administrative leave.

Speaking about her standing, Gannon said “I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning.”

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott publicly supported Potter’s termination.

“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties,” he explained before revealing that the officers initiated the traffic stop after clocking an expired registration tag on the car’s vehicle. When they ran Wright’s name they learned that he had a warrant out for his arrest. “That’s why they were moving from the car and they were making custodial arrest.”

Gannon went onto explain that the only information he had about the arrest warrant was that it was attached to a “gross misdemeanor warrant.”

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Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

Things That Matter

Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

Like many street vendors, 45-year-old Lorenzo Pérez sold food to support his family.

Married and the father of four children ages 15, 13, 9, and 1, Perez is described by friends and family as being well known amongst neighborhood residents. He was often seen working alongside his daughter who helped him on occasion. Now, the community and family who knew Perez well are in mourning, after he was shot in broad daylight while doing his job.

Perez died after he being shot in the head in southeast Fresno on Sunday afternoon.

Fresno Police were called to the scene of a possible robbery at Alta and Pierce Avenues, near Kings Canyon and Willow around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. On the way to the scene, the police officers learned that a street vendor had been shot once in the head.

According to reports, Perez was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center where he ultimately died.

Witnesses of the murder told officers that a man had beckoned Perez to come over to him in a way that suggested he was going to purchase something from him.

According to police reports, when Perez walked up to the suspect, the man pulled out a gun and shot the vendor. He then stole a few items, which have not been identified, and flew the scene. Witnesses told police officers that they’d seen the man loitering around the area before the shooting.

A local news station reported that “Officers are now looking into surveillance footage from the area to try and identify the shooter… Through a statement, Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez announced that he will be offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest.”

“The coward that murdered our food vendor, turn yourself in and face the consequences. You’ve brought tremendous pain to a family and our city,” Chavez exclaimed in the statement.

To help the Perez family, Councilmember Esmeralda Soria set up a GoFundMe account which has already raised $141,780 out of its $125,000 goal.

Perez’s son, Isai, described his father in a recent interview as a “great man.”

“My father was a great man. He was a great father, a great husband, a great friend,” he said in an interview. “He spread love and kindness. He was about fairness, he wanted to share his happiness. He meant no harm. He didn’t deserve to go like this. The person who killed my dad took away a part of me. My dad went through everything for us. He took away my father. He took away the opportunity of me being with him in his last moments and it’s heartbreaking. I hope they find the murderer soon.”

If you have any information on the shooting please call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

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