In the year 2021, authorities unveiled age-progression images (depicted on the left and center) portraying the potential appearance of Dulce Maria Alavez as a 7-year-old. She was a tender 5-year-old (depicted on the right) when she mysteriously vanished from Bridgeton City Park on September 16, 2019. Now, on April 25, she is about to celebrate her 9th birthday.
Brenda Trinidad finds herself disheartened by the lack of answers regarding the disappearance of a young girl from Bridgeton more than three and a half years ago.
Trinidad is actively involved with a group dedicated to raising awareness about the case of Dulce Maria Alavez, who went missing at the age of 5 during a family outing at Bridgeton City Park on September 16, 2019. In an effort to honor the missing child, Trinidad is helping organize a birthday celebration this weekend.
As Dulce approaches her 9th birthday, her family and supporters will gather at the park this Sunday to remember her and keep her memory alive.
According to authorities, Dulce was presumably taken from an area near a playground in the park while her mother, Noema Alavez Perez, remained in a car parked nearby.
Upon arriving at the park just after 4 p.m., Alavez Perez decided to stay in the car with her sister, while Dulce and her 3-year-old brother, Manny, went off to play on the playground approximately 30 yards away. Alavez Perez recalled that she checked a scratch-off lottery ticket while her younger sister stayed in the car to do her homework.
When they realized they couldn’t see the young children at the playground, they hurried over to investigate and found Manny in tears with his ice cream spilled on the ground. However, Dulce was nowhere to be found.
This distressing case sparked extensive searches in the area, prompting an investigation that stretched across the country and even reached Mexico. A reward of $75,000 was offered, yet none of these efforts have led to the discovery of the missing girl.
Recently, Trinidad met with Dulce’s mother, and together they discussed various ways to draw attention to the case.
Thankfully, Alavez Perez has made emotional progress in recent days, according to Trinidad. She remains determined to find Dulce while raising her other children and has even secured a new job and a promotion.
The attendees of Dulce’s birthday gathering are requested to arrive around 2:30 p.m., and the program will commence at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The event will take place at Dulce’s Tree, located near the spot where she was last seen.
As a mother herself, Trinidad believes that events commemorating Dulce should attract large crowds due to the significance of the case.
“All residents of Cumberland County should participate in these events related to Dulce. Regardless of their feelings towards the family, we must remember that a child is missing,” Trinidad expressed. “We must actively engage in these events to keep her memory alive and to convey to law enforcement and the prosecutor that we will not rest until Dulce is found.”
For parents in the area, Dulce’s case carries an even greater impact, Trinidad noted, questioning how comfortable they can feel about their own children’s safety if a child remains missing.
Based on interviews conducted on the day Dulce disappeared, two witness descriptions emerged of a man who might have been in the vicinity. Investigators believe these descriptions could be referring to the same individual.
The first description depicted a light-skinned Hispanic man, standing between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a slim build, devoid of facial hair, and showing facial acne. The second description, provided by a different witness, portrayed a Hispanic man, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall, slender, and aged between 30 to 35 years old.
In a 2020 interview with NJ Advance Media, an FBI special agent handling the case revealed that the man had yet to be identified or located. The agent theorized that Dulce was likely abducted by a stranger in a crime of opportunity.
While investigators expressed doubts in 2020 about any close family members being involved in Dulce’s disappearance, they maintained that no one has been ruled out as a suspect. Nevertheless, the family has continually cooperated with the investigation. Dulce’s mother mentioned last year that the police periodically request to review her cellphone.
As of now, the FBI has remained tight-lipped about the case, while local investigators continue to consider all theories regarding what may have transpired.
Trinidad worries that the declining public interest in the case could potentially mean that it will remain unsolved.