BRIDGETON, N.J. — The family of a New Jersey girl missing for more than a year and a half marked another birthday without her. Dulce Maria Alavez turned 7 years old on Sunday.
The little girl was last seen on Sept. 16, 2019, during a family outing to Bridgeton City Park in Cumberland County.
Dulce disappeared while playing with her 3-year-old brother as their mother, Noema Alavez Perez, sat in her car with an 8-year-old relative. The girl’s brother ran to the car crying and pointed to the area where he last saw his sister.
A tearful Alavez Perez called 911 to report what she feared was an abduction.
An Amber Alert was issued on Sept. 17, 2019.
On the one-year anniversary of her disappearance, the FBI told PIX11 its investigation remained active and stressed that anyone who may have been in the area at the time of Dulce’s disappearance can and should come forward.
In 2019, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewil said he feared immigration enforcement was keeping community members from coming forward to help with the investigation.
“There are pockets of the immigrant population in Bridgeton that may have information but are just afraid to come forward because of over-aggressive immigration enforcement by ICE,” Grewil said.
Police have not identified any suspects in the case.
As the search continues, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has begun to create a rendering of what a 7-year-old Dulce could possibly look like, NJ Advance Media reported.
John Bischoff, vice president of the missing children division, told the media outlet that the center creates renderings of missing children about every two years to account for changes as kids grow.
Those with information that could assist in the investigation are still urged to contact the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033 or utilize the department’s anonymous TIP411 text line, subtext “Bridgeton.”