In an attempt to keep hope alive, the FBI has provided an update in the nearly five-month Amber Alert search for 5-year-old Dulce María Alavez.
The FBI, meanwhile, keeps active the New Jersey Bridgeton area investigation and promises to go on with the case. Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie told Patch reporters. “We will not stop looking for that child until there is a resolution.”
Dulce María Alavez is a Hispanic girl who is about 3 feet tall, weighing 60-70 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen at a Bridgeton park wearing a yellow shirt with an elephant on it, as well as black-and-white pants and white shoes, police said.
Investigators think that Dulce was taken by a light-skinned Hispanic male, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a thin build, facial acne, no facial hair and wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt. He allegedly led Dulce from the park to a red van with a sliding side door.
Ehrie said that the FBI’s Newark office has dedicated “countless hours of manpower” in the search for the hispanic girl. The office also included Dulce María on a social media push for National Missing Persons Day on Monday.
Investigators continue to search wooded areas, waterways and vacant buildings in the Bridgeton área. They have also checked on the status of sex offenders in South Jersey to see if they have any possible connections to the case.
According to Ehrie, it is necessary, though, to involve local residents as an operative force in the search.
The premise: The girl is alive
“If you know something, if you saw something, no matter how small a detail, contact us or the Bridgeton police,” Ehrie said. “We are not concerned with anyone’s legal status. Our focus is on finding a missing child.”
“If you are the person responsible for or involved in the disappearance of this child, it is better for you to come to us before we come to you.”
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said the five-month-old case is active and that the child´s family has been very cooperative as investigators have expanded their efforts.
The prosecutor explained that the main premise of the investigation and search is the assumption that the girl is alive. “To date, we continue to treat this as a missing-person investigation until evidence indicates otherwise,” Webb-McRae said. “Accordingly, we are operating under the premise that Dulce is alive.”
Public support is crucial
In her opinion, public´s help is fundamental.”We are asking the public to be vigilant in reporting any possible sighting or information that they believe would lead us to locating the whereabouts of Dulce.”
Just before her abduction Sept. 16, 2019 Dulce was seen on video shopping for ice cream with her family. Then she went with her mother, Noema, to a playground area in Bridgeton City Park around 4 p.m.
The mother said she stayed in her vehicle while Dulce and her 3-year-old brother were playing 30 yards away. Ten minutes later, the 3-year-old ran back to the car and was crying because Dulce was gone. The family looked for Dulce, but did not find her. They contacted the police around 5 p.m.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2857; the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033; or by calling 911 immediately.