BRIDGETON, N.J. — The family of Dulce Maria Alavez, the 5-year-old girl who disappeared from a park in Cumberland County more than five weeks ago, will mount another search for her this weekend, they said Wednesday.
The child’s relatives asked volunteers to help them comb the area around the 1,100-acre Bridgeton City Park and go door to door passing out fliers. The search, planned to start at 9 a.m. Sunday at the baseball field, is the third organized by the family this month.
The family still has hope, the girl’s grandmother said at the playground where Dulce was last seen.
“We will never give up the hope that she will be found,” said Norma Perez Alavez, speaking in Spanish. A friend, Jackie Rodriguez, translated for her.
Police Chief Michael Gaimari said Wednesday that the department was following leads and investigating tips every day.
The girl disappeared Sept. 16 while at the park with her mother, Noema Alavez Perez, her 3-year-old brother, and the mother’s 8-year-old sister. Dulce went with her brother to a playground while her mother and the 8-year-old remained nearby in a car. The mother called police after, she said, she found the boy alone and crying.
Police issued an Amber Alert after a report that a man was seen leading Dulce to a red van with tinted windows and a sliding door.
Last week, authorities released a sketch of a man who reportedly was seen with one or two small children in the same park, and asked for help identifying him. They have described him as a possible witness.
Anyone who can identify the witness or who has other information about the case is asked to contact the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033. Authorities say they will not question witnesses about their immigration status.