Watch CBS News

Search continues 4 years after 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing in Bridgeton, N.J.

September 16 marks 4 years since Dulce Alavez went missing in Bridgeton, N.J.
September 16 marks 4 years since Dulce Alavez went missing in Bridgeton, N.J. 00:58

La policía también ha compartido esta información sobre la desaparición de Dulce María Alavez en español. Presione aquí para leerlo.

BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) -- Saturday marks four years since 5-year-old Dulce María Alavez was last seen in Bridgeton City Park.

Alavez was playing with her brother when she suddenly vanished and hasn't been seen since.


Dulce's mother, Noema Alavez, says she dreads this day each year.

"These past four years have been really hard for me and my family because we don't know nothing about Dulce, and it's been too long," Alavez said. 

It was September 16, 2019 when she took her children to the park.

Alavez was sitting in her car in the parking lot. A 5-year-old Dulce was playing with her little brother near the swings when she vanished and hasn't been seen since.

"It's been four years and I don't even know how my daughter will look today," Alavez said. 

This week, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age-progression photo of what Dulce may look like now at age 9.

This age-progressed photo shows what Dulce Maria Alavez might look like at age 9, four years after she went missing from Bridgeton, N.J. on Sept. 16, 2019. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

READ MOREBridgeton police hope the new age progression photo of Dulce Alavez will bring new tips

"To say this is a cold case would be entirely wrong," Trent Steele said. 

Steele is with the Anti-Predator Project, a nonprofit private investigation firm based in Florida. He joined in the search for Dulce about two months ago.

Steele says he's received more than 160 leads and he came to New Jersey over the anniversary weekend to interview witnesses, who authorities have already spoken with. 

"We got leads that take us all the way from New York down to Texas and then down into Mexico," he said.

In the meantime, the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office is re-sharing this sketch of a person of interest they are still working to identify.


Alavez says she will never stop searching for her daughter.

"I'm grateful for everyone that is trying to be helpful to find my daughter and still spread awareness that we want her to come home," she said.

As the search for Dulce continues, a $75,000 reward is available for information on what led to her disappearance.

"In the absence of evidence pointing towards Dulce's demise, investigators hold out hope that Dulce is still alive," a flyer from Bridgeton police and the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office says. "We are encouraging the public to share any possible sighting or piece of evidence they may have about this matter as it may be the puzzle piece we need to solve this case. Authorities are not concerned about the immigration status of any witness who comes forward in this matter."

Tips can be called in to 856-451-0033 or submitted anonymously at or

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.