Authorities in New Jersey released a rendering of how a missing young girl may look two years after she disappeared during a family park outing.
Dulce Maria Alavez, then 5, vanished in September 2019 while at the 1,100-acre Bridgeton City Park as she played with her 3-year-old brother, Manuel. Dulce’s mother, Noema Alavez Perez, was in a car nearby and told police Manuel said she disappeared as they played near a storage building next to a playground.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children worked with investigators to produce an age-progression image of what Dulce may look like as a 7-year-old. The rendering was released Wednesday, one day before the second anniversary of her puzzling disappearance.
Investigators continue to pursue all leads in the case, according to the joint statement by Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb McCrae and Bridgeton police chief Michael Gaimari.
“We hold out hope that Dulce is alive (as we have no evidence of her demise) and want the public to know that this case will remain open until such time as we locate Dulce and determine those responsible for her disappearance,” the statement read.
A $75,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a break in the case. Dulce has brown eyes and hair, and was about 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 40 pounds when she vanished, according to a missing poster released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Dulce may be in the company of a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male who is 5’6” to 5’8” tall, thin build, no facial hair but has acne on his face,” the notice reads. “Dulce may have entered an unknown vehicle.”
FBI Special Agent Daniel Garrabrant said last August that Dulce was likely snatched by a predator searching for an opportunity to grab a child.
“We do have some witnesses that saw a Hispanic male in the park in and around the playground that we have not identified,” Garrabrant said in August 2020. “We don’t know who that is. It’s very possible that it’s the offender.”
Investigators have also released a sketch of a potential witness to suspected abduction.
Dulce’s relatives, meanwhile, said they didn’t think the rendering accurately represents how she might look now.
“To be honest, that doesn’t look like Dulce,” Alavez Perez told WPVI. “I don’t think her face would have changed a lot.”
The girl’s grandmother also cast doubt, saying in Spanish she believed the rendering “doesn’t look anything” like Dulce, WPVI reported.
Anyone with info about Dulce’s whereabouts should call Bridgeton police or the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.