‘Nobody spontaneously disappears,’ FBI says 4 months after NJ girl vanished
BRIDGETON — Four months after she disappeared, the FBI said it is still actively investigating the disappearance of Dulce Maria Alavez.
“Nobody spontaneously disappears. Someone in the community, somebody knows something that will be invaluable to this," FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie said Thursday in the FBI's first public comments on the case.
The 5-year-old went missing Sept. 16 when she seemingly vanished from Bridgeton City Park as she played with her 3-year-old brother. The last reported sighting of the girl came from a young witness who told police that she was seen walking with a man toward a red van at Bridgeton City Park.
A $75,000 reward has been put up by several law enforcement agencies, businesses and TV host Dr. Phil McGraw who interviewed Dulce's mother, Noema Alavez Perez, in December.
No significant evidence has been developed to indicate where Dulce may be but the case remains under investigation by the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, State Police, Bridgeton police and the FBI.
Ehrie said that the FBI is examining every lead they have and is still turning up valuable leads.
“There have been terrabytes of video I’ve gone through over and over again," Ehrie said.
The FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit was brought in to the investigation within 24 hours of Dulce's disappearance. The unit's national supervisor, Christina Bradford, said the case is still active and there's a lot going on behind the scenes.
Cumberland County Prosecutor McRae-Webb on Friday said it continues to be an active investigation.
"We encourage the public at home and abroad to continue to remain vigilante and report any information that may assist us in determining the circumstances leading to Dulce's disappearance," she said.
Webb-McRae along with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal have said that witnesses should not worry about their immigration status.
"We only want information that will bring Dulce home," the prosecutor said in September.
Jackie Rodriguez, a family friend acting as a spokesperson for the Alavez family, said she is grateful for the FBI's comments.
"I was surprised when I heard that, I never thought that they would have said anything but this will give some calm to the public," Rodriguez said.
Information about Dulce's disappearance can be called to 800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) option 4, option 8 or reported anonymously by calling the Bridgeton's TIP 411 text service by texting "Bridgeton" plus the tip to 847411.
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