Reward increases to $52K in search for Dulce Maria Alavez
BRIDGETON, N.J. - Law enforcement officials from various agencies continue their search for a 5-year-old girl who they say was abducted from a Cumberland County park in mid-September.
Dulce Maria Alavez vanished from Bridgeton City Park on Sept. 16. after playing on the swings with her 3-year-old brother.
The children's mother was sitting in her car 30 yards away with an 8-year-old relative. The 3-year-old returned to the car without Alavez.
Investigators say Alavez was lured into the back seat of a red van by a male suspect who has been described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, with a thin build and acne on his face. He was wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt at the time of the reported abduction.
"You cannot imagine what we are going through," Dulce’s grandmother said in a statement. "Please help our family, I beg of you."
- Timeline of events in the disappearance of Cumberland County 5-year-old
- Police: Suspect drove off with missing 5-year-old girl; Amber Alert issued
- Officials, family appeal to public in search for Dulce Maria Alavez
- Search continues for 5-year-old girl missing from Cumberland County
Officials have exercised different strategies to find her include helicopter search, volunteer searches, media specialist, a dive team, sonar and teams of dogs searching.
Police described Alavez as 3-foot-5 with a medium build and dark-colored hair. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, black and white checkered pants with a floral design and white sandals.
A reward for information leading to an arrest in the case has been increased to $52,000.
Authorities previously asked the community to be aware if anyone has changed their routine, changed their physical appearance or left town recently without explanation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Bridgeton City Police Department at 856-451-0033.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.