Officials remain hopeful missing Dulce is alive, ask public at-large for help

John McDevitt
October 04, 2019 - 6:57 pm
Dulce Maria Alavez

Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The search continues for a missing 5-year-old Cumberland County girl, who was abducted nearly three weeks ago. Officials are hopeful she is still alive.

On Sept. 16, Noema Alavez Perez reported to authorities that her 5-year-old daughter, Dulce Maria Alavez, disappeared from a Bridgeton playground.

“To date, we are still searching for that key piece of information that we need to lead us to Dulce, or to the circumstances surrounding her disappearance,” said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae. "In the absence of physical evidence indicating that Dulce has been physically harmed, we remain hopeful and continue to act under the premise she is still alive."

According to the prosecutor, more than 300 local, state and federal officers have participated in the investigation. More than 200 locations have been searched by land, air and water, and more than 1,000 tip calls have been processed.

Considering the size of their search, Webb-McRae believes Dulce is not is this area.

"That is why we are asking the public at-large — greater than Cumberland County, greater than the state of New Jersey, across the country — to remain vigilant, and if they spot someone who appears to be Dulce, not to discount it," she said.

Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Michael Gaimari said no one has been cleared in this criminal investigation.

"Until the child is located and until we can determined what happened to the child, no one is cleared," he added.

Authorities are asking anyone who was in that park on Sept. 16 to give the Bridgeton police a call or submit a tip anonymously by texting TIP-411. Tipsters do not have to disclose immigration status.

"We are not permitted to ask about it as part of the immigrant trust directive," noted Webb-McRae.

The reward in this case has increased to $40,000.