Search for Abducted 5-Year-Old New Jersey Girl Enters Fourth Day

The search for missing New Jersey girl Dulce Maria Alavez, 5, enters its fourth day. She was abducted on Monday around 4:30 p.m. from a Bridgeton City Park playground in Cumberland County, police say.

1. Circumstances of Abduction

Police said she was abducted from a playground while playing with her 3-year-old brother. At the time, their mother was in a vehicle with an 8-year-old relative, cops said according to NJ.com. The boy came back to the mother crying, pointing to the storage buildings near the playground–that was the place where he last saw Dulce.

2. The Suspect

New Jersey State Police issued an AMBER Alert on Tuesday. They described the suspect as a light-skinned white or Hispanic male. He stands 5’6″ to 5’8″ tall. The man is said to be thin, with acne, but no facial hair, authorities said. He wore orange sneakers, red pants, and a black shirt, police said. The vehicle linked to the case is described as a red van with a sliding rear passenger door and tinted windows.

Dulce Alavez was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala bear in the front. She had black and white pants. Police said they’re working on getting a license plate for the suspect’s vehicle.

3. Tension Between Alavez’s Family and Police

As the search continues, there’s some public tension between the girl’s family and authorities. This was clear when her mother spoke to reporters. Noema Alavez said that cops suggested that a relative might have been responsible for the abduction. She denied that.

“The police think our family did this,” she told NJ Advance Media. “They think I did something to her. I didn’t. I love my daughter. I would never do nothing bad to her.”

Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari suggested to reporters on Wednesday that the mother wasn’t supervising her child at the time of the incident.

He said that authorities are collecting surveillance footage in their investigation. When asked about the family being worried about social media narratives, he said “everything plays a role.”

[Image via New Jersey State Police]

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