More than two months after 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez vanished from a Bridgeton, N.J., playground in broad daylight, the missing girl’s story will be featured on Dr. Phil.
Dulce’s mother, Noema Alavez Perez, and family spokesperson Jackie Rodriguez traveled to New York City earlier this month for an interview with Phil McGraw, Rodriguez said. More details about the episode will be announced closer to its Friday, Dec. 6, air date, according to a Dr. Phil representative.
Airing locally at 3 p.m. on CBS3, the nationally televised talk show will bring new attention to the search for the girl, which has seemed to yield few public leads.
Last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala on the front, black and white pants with butterflies and flowers, and white dress sandals, Dulce disappeared on the afternoon of Sept. 16 while playing in Bridgeton City Park with her 3-year-old brother as their mother remained in a car nearby. After Perez found the boy alone and crying, she called 911. Authorities then issued an Amber Alert based on a report that a man was seen leading the little girl to a red van with tinted windows and a sliding door.
What followed was an onslaught of pleas and news conferences from family and local officials, multiple community-organized searches, vigils, a $52,000 reward for information, and a bevy of rumors throughout the South Jersey town.
Yet, months later, few new concrete details have emerged.
The Bridgeton Police Department, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, and the FBI continue work daily on the investigation, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a statement last week.
Authorities have asked for help in identifying a sketch of a man, described as a possible witness, who was reportedly seen with one or two small children in the park. Officials have vowed to not question witnesses about their immigration status.
Another volunteer search — one of several such efforts over the last 10 weeks — for the girl will convene at 9 a.m. Sunday in the park.
And authorities keep asking for clues in the case of the missing girl.
“We are asking the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious and/or sightings that may lead us to locating Dulce or those responsible for her disappearance," Webb-McRae said. "No piece of information is too small or insignificant. It might be the piece needed to solve this matter.”
Anyone who can identify the witness or who has other information about the case can contact the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033.