5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez of Bridgeton has been missing since Monday, September 16th. The search for her continues.

According to Bridgeton Chief of Police Michael Gaimari, Sr., the reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Dulce has increased to $52,000. $10,000 of that reward money has come from the unions representing state troopers, non-commissioned officers and superior officers of the New Jersey State Police.

Thus far over 1,000 tips have been received in the case. Over 300 officers from various departments have worked on the investigation.

Here are more details on the case, courtesy of Gaimari and the Bridgeton Police Department:

-Since Monday, September 16, 2019 when 5 year old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing a massive missing persons and child abduction investigation has been undertaken. To preserve the integrity of the investigation, should we find someone responsible for Dulce’s disappearance, I cannot talk about specific details of the investigation. However, I can tell you generally that:

-More than 300 officers (from local, county, state and federal agencies) have contributed to this investigation thus far.

These investigators continue to work tirelessly to determine the whereabouts of Dulce and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

-More than 200 locations, including abandoned buildings and desolate areas have been searched including several extensive searches of the Bridgeton Recreational Area and the City Park by land, air and water.

-I am told that over 1,000 tips were received and processed according to priority.

-Over 500 vehicles have been identified and investigated.

- Over 50 different types of legal process have been served, including court orders and subpoenas.

- Investigators have reviewed and continue to make contact with numerous sex offenders throughout the County to ascertain their whereabouts around the time Dulce went missing.

- Investigators have obtained and are pouring over videos from a myriad of sources of not only the areas surrounding the place where Dulce disappeared, but from throughout the city and bordering townships and are continuing to review same to rule out and rule in vehicles that may continue to be of interest.

- The Bridgeton Police Department, the CCPO, the NJSP and the FBI are still in County actively working this investigation. Both the NJSP and the FBI remain on site as well as lend resources available to them through their respective agencies.

- We thank our additional partners including the NJ Department of Corrections, the NJ Department of Parole, the County Office of Emergency Management, the Bridgeton Fire and Public Works Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Downe Township Dive Team and others for their cooperation and assistance as they have certainly been a force multiplier in the course of this investigation.

-To date we are still searching for that key piece of information that we need to lead us to Dulce or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. We continue to examine new leads as they come in and re-examine the massive amount of information we have collected to see if new information helps us connect the dots.

-In the absence of physical evidence indicating that Dulce has been physically harmed, we remain hopeful and are acting under the premise that she is alive. We continue to consider all theories and no piece of information is too small or insignificant to track down.

-Dulce’s family continues to cooperate and we ask you to support them during this difficult time.

-We are asking the public in this county, across the state and across the nation to remain vigilant. We still need your assistance. Any information that seems out of place or relevant - such as a sighting of a young child who looks like Dulce or a person who has begun to act suspiciously might be the tip we need to crack this investigation.

Additionally, investigators are continuing to locate and interview all those who were in the city park area at or near the time of Dulce’s disappearance. If there are people out there that were in the park that afternoon between 3PM and 5PM that have not been contacted, please contact the Prosecutor’s Office or the Bridgeton Police Dept. even if you believe you may not have witnessed anything as this information would help in the investigation.

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