No, 5-year-old missing girl Dulce’s mother has not been arrested
Just days after the FBI asked the public to stop spreading false information on social media regarding a missing 5-year-old girl from Bridgeton, the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office is addressing the latest unfounded rumor.
According to authorities, a post is being widely circulated on social media that claims the mother of Dulce Maria Alavez has been arrested in connection to her disappearance. The false story claims the mother's phone showed a $15,000 cash withdrawal right after the child was kidnapped.
"Numerous sources have contacted the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office to ask if the below post circulating on social media is true. This post is FALSE," the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office said on Facebook. "The family of Dulce Maria Alavez continues to cooperate with this investigation. Neither her mother or anyone else has been arrested for actions in relation to Dulce's disappearance."
"Each time someone posts a false rumor like this, it pulls our attention away from doing all that we can to locate Dulce," the prosecutor's office continued. "We are still pursuing any and all leads that may lead to us to locate Dulce. We thank the public for their continued cooperation."
Meanwhile, authorities continue to search for 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez, who is believed to have been abducted Monday at a park in Bridgeton.
As of this weekend, $35,000 in reward money was being offered by various contributors to anyone with information that lead to her recovery.
Dulce was last spotted walking toward a red van with a man at Bridgeton City Park late on Monday afternoon, according to Bridgeton police. As the investigation progressed an Ambert Alert was issued by State Police.
Police have described a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic man, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8 with a thin build, no facial hair, and with acne on his face. He's been described as wearing orange shoes.
An Amber Alert about her disappearance was still active as of Sunday morning.
Authorities have stressed investigators are not interested in anyone's immigration status and that tips can be reported anonymously by calling the city's TIP 411 text service by texting "Bridgeton" plus a tip to 847411.
Among new details released by authorities Friday:
— Investigators have spoken to about 75 people.
— Investigators have yet to speak to the little girl's father, who is in Mexico and has been described as estranged from the family.
— Authorities have stopped and spoken to the owners of numerous red vans seen on surveillance footage or through registration records.
— No physical evidence has been recovered, despite authorities combing a 1.5-mile radius around Bridgeton City Park near the high school.
Webb-McRae said that often someone in the community will unknowingly be associated a criminal offender but may not connect changes in their behavior to their involvement.
Some of the clues outlined by Webb-McRae:
— Sudden absences from work or school while offering reasonable reasons.
— Missing scheduled appointments and commitments.
— Suddenly leaving town, sometimes with a plausible reason.
— A change in use of alcohol or drugs.
— Altering clothing and appearance.
— Discarding clothing.
— Changing the appearance of their vehicle.
— They may become anxious, nervous or irritable.
— The person may either have a strong interest in developments in this case or divert discussion of the investigation.
With prior reporting from Dan Alexander.
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