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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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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