Who Took Dulce Alavez? Vanished From The Playground

dulce-alavez-cover-photo

Name: Dulce Maria Alavez
Age: 5 years old
Last seen: September 16, 2019
Location: Bridgeton, New Jersey
Status: Missing

dulce-maria-alavez

Physical Description

Dulce Maria Alavez is a Hispanic female, she has long dark brown hair which she wears in a ponytail and brown eyes. She is 3’5 tall and weighs approximately 60 to 70lbs.

Dulce Alavez was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala on the front, black and white pants with flowers and butterflies on them, and white dress sandals on September 16th, 2019.

image-clothes

Background Information

Dulce Maria Alavez was born on April 25th, 2014, in Bridgeton City, New Jersey to her mother Noema Perez-Alavez. Noema was young when she had Dulce, she was 19 years old at the time of Dulce’s disappearance. Dulce had a younger brother Manuel, who was born 2 years after Dulce.

At the time of Dulce’s disappearance, she and her brother Manuel were living with their grandparents in Bridgeton City, while Noema was living in an apartment nearby. Noema and her mum were sharing custody of both of the kids.

Bridgeton City is a small tight-knit community in the Southern part of the state, with around 25,000 residents.

Disappearance

Dulce Alavez had just started Kindergarten, and on September 16th, 2019 she had gone to school and Neoma picked both kids up as well as her 8-year-old sister. They went to a local gas station to get some ice cream and lottery cards.

surveillance-dulce

Neoma then decided to then take them to the park because they were full of energy. They park near the basketball court, Dulce and her brother get out of the car and run over to the playground by themselves. Noema Alavez stays in the car with her younger sister (which is approximately 200 feet from the playground), some sources say they were doing homework while others say they were scratching the lottery tickets they had just purchased.

bridgeton-park-map

Noema says she had a view of the kids in the playground the whole time other than a 5-10 minute period. The only area of the playground she was not able to see was the swing set because there was a small hill that blocked the view. When she couldn’t see them in the 5-10 minutes she figured they were playing on the swing set.

swing-set

This youtube video shows a 3D view of the park.

After 10 minutes, she had gotten a little concerned so she got out of the car with her younger sister, to go check on the kids. As they are walking up to the playground they see Dulce’s little brother Manuel crying and his ice cream is on the floor. At first, they thought Manuel was crying because his ice cream had fallen, but then they realized Dulce was not around.

 

bridgeton-park-buildingsWhen they ask Manuel where Dulce was he pointed at these buildings near the park.

These are 2 utility buildings that were used to store equipment to keep the park maintained and were locked.

These buildings have a path near them that goes right to the street. The park has two entry points, one from where Noema came from and the other near the utility buildings.

Manuel told his mum that Dulce was playing around these buildings. Neoma then goes over to the buildings to look for Dulce while calling her name out but Dulce was nowhere to be found.

Noema says she tried not to panic straight away and thought Dulce was playing some sort of hiding game. There were a group of girls in the basketball court at the time Neoma and the kids were at the park, as well as a man with his son but they had just gotten to the park when Neoma was planning to leave.

After some time went by and she couldn’t find Dulce, she decided to call the police.

On the 911 call, she proceeds to tell the dispatcher that the group of girls that were in the basketball court had seen two males with a red van and blacked-out windows pull up near the utility buildings just as Dulce was running towards the buildings.

Noema says she taught Dulce not to talk to strangers and said Dulce would never run up to a stranger or voluntarily leave with someone she didn’t know. Noema had also told Dulce if someone was trying to abduct her to scream as loud as she can so someone could hear her.

The Search

Police are dispatched and arrive at the scene with dogs and search for Dulce Alavez on foot. They were able to find camera surveillance footage from the park, however, none of the cameras picked up on Dulce.

The next day at 10 pm police put out an amber alert. In the amber alert, they said they were looking for a Hispanic man 30-35 years old, who was skinny and around 5’7 tall. He had acne all over his face, he was wearing orange shoes, red pants, a black shirt, and a white baseball cap.

As mentioned above Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen wearing a yellow t-shirt with a white koala print on the front, black and white checkered pants that have flowers and butterfly prints on them, and white sandals.

dulce-alavez-gas-station

The same day the amber alert was put out, September 17th, many volunteers came out to help search for Dulce and any clues.

On September 18th, there was a vigil held to help continue to raise awareness, and missing poster flyers were put up around Bridgeton City.

dulce-vigil

On September 19th, Dulce’s family went out to the media and made a public plea for help. They also announced that they were offering a $20,000 reward for any information that would lead to finding Dulce Alavez or any information on who the suspect was. On September 20th, the reward was raised to $25,000, then the next day it was raised to $35,000.

There were a large number of undocumented immigrants living in the area, so they allowed for anyone that did come forward with information to the police would not be reported to ICE.

Unfortunately, no one came forward with information nor did the police have many leads to work with.

Theories

People online and that lived in the Bridgeton City community were suspicious of Noema Alavez. Many people thought it was suspicious that Noema would let the kids run off alone, as they were at such a young age. People have also been very critical of her emotions, she had been accused of not showing enough emotion, panic, or sadness.

There were a lot of talks online about Noema eating pizza during one of the searches, which was on the day after Dulce went missing. When people questioned her about this she was 5 months pregnant and said that this was the first time she had eaten since Dulce went missing.

Her lack of emotions has made people question her. There has been a lot of accusations online that suggest Noema had sold Dulce into human trafficking or something similar.

Dr Phil did an episode on this case and interviewed Noema Alavez and asked her if she had any involvement and she said she did not. Yet, even Dr Phil brought up the fact that she was one of the most emotionally flat parents of a victim he had spoken to.

There is no evidence that Noema Alavez has anything to do with Dulce Alavez’s disappearance.

Police suggested that the abductor could be someone the family knows, they questioned Noema if there was anyone in the family that would want to take Dulce which she told them no, they also asked her if she had any enemies and the only person she could come up with was this guy who had tried to pursue her and she wasn’t interested in him so she turned him down, and she said that he seemed upset. However, there is no other reason to believe he was involved or evidence.

On October 9th, police released a sketch of a male they wanted to speak to. On this day the reward was also raised to $52,000 for any information on this male.

sketch

Another person who was a suspect was Dulce’s biological father, Edgar Perez when Dulce was born he wasn’t very interested in being a dad and didn’t believe Dulce was his daughter however later on this view changed. When Dulce was around 2-3 years old he had expressed interest in getting custody of her, however, this was never pursued. The FBI questioned him and he was not a suspect in the case.

January 2020, a video came out online from a psychic who spoke about Dulce Alavez. She said they need to check specifically the school Dulce attended and the wooded area behind the school. Police followed up on this tip and went out to search the area with volunteers but nothing was found.

In February 2020, the reward money was raised to $75,000.

In March 2020 there was an update to the case, two letters, and a postcard that mention Dulce were sent to Ohio. In one of the letters, it included a small map indicating Dulce’s body would be found in a wooded area near the Hollywood casino and race track.

The second letter was sent to Austintown, Ohio to a local library and this letter was 2 pages long and was handwritten, it was postmarked from Cleveland. The police were only able to make out a few words from the letter including “Alaska”  “border” “1776” “civil war” “New England Town” and “kids homes orphanage”.

The third letter was sent to a nearby owner of an ice cream shop who had found the letter in her mailbox and brought it to the police straight away. This card mentions Dulce’s name.

The postcard says a couple of different things, including “look for Dulce Alavez age 5 kidnapped from Bridgeton New Jersey. Look website for story photos Dr Phil. 76 truck stop dead end St. entrance woods. Please look”. 

The race track was linked to a casino nearby. One of the letters sent to the race track had a return zip code on it in Mexico but the address was not illegible. The letter was also not postmarked but investigators believe it was delivered by the US postal service to the casino.

All three letters were handwritten and police determined they were written by the same person. Police went out and searched around 30-40 acres in that area, they also brought out dogs to the searches, drones, they used infrared technology but nothing was found.

Updates 2021

A news article in the Mexico News Daily published a body of a young girl between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, was found in an abandoned cooler on a sidewalk in El Pipila in August 2020, had been saved from being buried in an anonymous grave.

mexico-newspaper-article

Police released a sketch of the Jane Doe they found and said the autopsy shows obvious signs of trauma. This statement was later redacted and they changed the manner of death to be from pulmonary sepsis.

jane-doe-dulce-maria

The body of the young girl remains unclaimed and was buried in a communal grave 4 months later by locals. People are not buried under Jane Doe unless the government does it themselves so they decided to give the little girl the name Dulce Maria.

Update 2021

A Youtube video surfaced showing a smiling Dulce and a message from an unknown man and him singing a popular Mexican birthday song for her 7th birthday. The video is titled #FAITH425.

Police are trying to figure out who made the video and whether it is significant to the case.

The video contains footage of Dulce and her father taken prior to her disappearance, the male voice also says he loves his baby girl and does not know where she is.

Age Progression

Dulce-Alavez-age-progression

Contact Information

dulce-missing-poster-fbi

If you have any information on the disappearance of Dulce Maria Alavez please call 856-451-0033 or 1-800-CALL-FBI and select option 4, then select option 8.

If you have any photos or videos from Bridgeton City Park on September 16th, 2019 please upload them to: http:www.fbi.gov/alavez

The reward money stands at $75,000 for any information that leads to finding Dulce or any information on the male in the sketch.

Resources and Further Information

Help Bring Dulce Maria Alavez Home Facebook page @WhereisDulceMaria

Find Dulce Maria Alavez Instagram page @finddulcealavez

The official FBI page for Dulce Maria Alavez 

Kendal Rae covers Dulce Maria Alavez’s case on Youtube 

Savannah Brymer covers Dulce Maria Alavez’s case on Youtube 

https://patch.com/new-jersey/westdeptford/police-release-age-progressed-photo-missing-south-jersey-girl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *