Authorities seek photos, videos of park from the day 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing

Rachel Kurland
September 23, 2019 - 1:38 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After one week, authorities are still searching for 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez, who they say was abducted from Bridgeton City Park in the middle of the afternoon.

Police are urging anyone who was at the park, near Cohanzick Zoo, on Sept. 16 between 3 and 6 p.m. to share any information they may have, including cellphone pictures or videos taken in that area during that time.

Park pictures may seem innocuous, but authorities say they are "a valuable piece of the puzzle in helping us bring Dulce home to her family."

The FBI created a site where tipsters can upload their photos. People can also call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, then hit option 4 and option 8.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued roughly 30 hours after Dulce went missing last week.

She is approximately 3 feet tall, 60 to 70 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala bear on it, black and white pants, and white shoes.

Police describe the man who reportedly abducted her as light-skinned, possibly Hispanic. He is between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches tall. He has acne but no facial hair. He was last seen wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt. He may be driving a red van with tinted windows and a sliding passenger-side door, or an SUV.

A reward for any information leading to Dulce's whereabouts has climbed to $35,000.

“All the neighbors are holding vigils at night and day and the churches, they’re praying for her. It’s not a happy mood," said Irvin Mellman, who lives right by the park.

A pink sign sits on the backstop of the baseball field in the park, saying "Bring Dulce Alavez Home." Under it are candles, stuffed animals and photos of the little girl placed there by people in the community. 

Bridgeton community members held a vigil for Dulce Saturday evening, showing support for the girl and her family.

The Bridgeton Police Department, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit, and the FBI are continuing to search for the girl. Officials say they won't give up hope in finding her alive. 

KYW Newsradio's Andrew Kramer contributed to this report. 

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Editor's note: Dulce remains missing as of Tuesday.