Cops: Girl Who Vanished From Park Taken by Man in Van

5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing from a NJ park on Monday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
Mom Says Girl Was Playing on Swings, Then Vanished
Dulce Maria Alavez.   (New Jersey State Police, via NJ Advance Media)

The last time anyone saw Dulce Maria Alavez was Monday in a New Jersey park, and officials are saying she was abducted. Per WPVI, the 5-year-old's mother told police that while she was in her car with an 8-year-old relative, Dulce and her 3-year-old brother were playing on swings less that 100 feet away in Bridgeton City Park. When the boy returned, Dulce wasn't with him. He was crying and pointed to nearby storage buildings as the last place he'd seen his sister, police say, per NJ Advance Media. A search for Dulce with police dogs, a helicopter, and a dive team turned up nothing. Based on interviews with bystanders at a nearby basketball court, New Jersey State Police say a suspect was seen leading the girl from the playground area and into a red van with a sliding side door and tinted windows at around 4:20pm, per CBS Philly.

In an Amber Alert, the suspect is described as a thin, light-skinned Hispanic male, between 5'6" and 5'8", with facial acne but no facial hair. He's said to have been wearing a black shirt, red pants, and orange sneakers. Meanwhile, mom Noema Alavez claims cops suspect her family was involved in Dulce's disappearance. "They think I did something to her," she says. "I didn't. I love my daughter." Per the Amber Alert, Dulce, about 3 feet tall and between 60 and 70 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, was last seen in a yellow shirt with an elephant on it, black-and-white pants, and white shoes. Anyone with info should call the state police at 609-882-2000, ext. 2554; the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033; or 911. (More Amber Alert stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.