Dulce Maria Alavez: 3 years later Alavez family holds onto hope as community gathers for a vigil
BRIDGETON, N.J. - Friday marks three years since 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez disappeared from a New Jersey park and the question remains, where is Dulce?
Through song and prayer, a Cumberland County community has come together with renewed hope on the third anniversary of Dulce Maria Alavez’s disappearance from Bridgeton City Park.
"Let’s not let it stop here! Once we go home, let’s keep sharing about her, talking about her and don’t let her name die," organizer Brenda Trinidad encouraged those in attendance.
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Dulce’s mother, Noema Alavez, and grandmother shed tears throughout the vigil. "No one can imagine the suffering, the pain that we’re going through every day."
On September 16th, 2019, 5-year-old Dulce was playing on the swings with her younger brother when she vanished.
"To the person who knows this viable info, if you wanna sleep better at night, just say where she’s at," Trinidad stated.
Fellow mom and organizer Brenda Trinidad says the park is always busy. Repeated searches of the area have come up empty.
"Dulce went missing on a night just like this," Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly mused.
Mayor Kelly says investigators are committed to the case. He is, too. "Nobody wants to be known for a community where a child went missing and never returned."
There’s a $75,000 reward in the case and police continue to investigate tips.
Dulce’s brokenhearted grandmother pleads with people to come forward with information. The Alavez family and their supporters say they will not give up hope.
"She means everything to me. She’s my whole world," cried Noema. "We miss her a lot and we want her to be home."
Organizers say they will be back year after year on the anniversary of Dulce’s disappearance until she is found.