BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — It’s been two weeks today since Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen playing in a park in Bridgeton. Her mother, 19-year-old Noema Alavez Perez, returned to that same park to speak, as authorities continue to search for her daughter.
“Today marks two weeks since the monster that took my daughter and made my life change for the worse,” Alavez Perez said.
It’s been two weeks of agony for Alavez Perez as she wonders who took Dulce and how the 5-year-old is doing.
“She was afraid of the dark and everything. And every night I always think of her, thinking that she’s crying and that she misses us, misses us a lot,” Alavez Perez said.
Police believe a man lured 5-year-old Dulce away from the playground in Bridgeton City Park on Monday, Sept. 16.
Several agencies, including the FBI, are involved in the investigation.
Alavez Perez said during a Monday press conference that she has trouble sleeping at night knowing Dulce is out there scared.
“She’s just a little girl, she’s innocent,” she said.
Police are looking for a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic man who was seen driving a red van with tinted windows.
At first, police issued an Amber Alert, calling for the public to look out for the man. They’ve now described that person as someone they just want to talk to and say they have no strong suspects.
“Today marks 2 weeks since the monster took my daughter” – the mother of #DulceMariaAlavez asks people not to give up looking for her daughter. Police say they have no strong suspects. Reward is $35,000. pic.twitter.com/H1C3BTXNK2
— Cleve Bryan CBS3 (@CleveBryan) September 30, 2019
Alavez Perez says she’s answered every question she can and allowed investigators to look through her phone at least three times.
Alavez Perez says Dulce’s father is in Mexico and she does not think he is involved in her disappearance.
The 19-year-old is now five months pregnant with a child from a different boyfriend. She says she let her parents have custody of Dulce.
As days turn to weeks, Alavez Perez and her mother are begging people not to forget Dulce.
“If somebody knows something, please come forward and talk. We miss her a lot, our family, everyone does,” she said.
Alavez Perez says she was in her car helping her sister with homework and doing a lottery scratch-off when Dulce disappeared.
There is a $35,000 reward for information leading to Dulce’s whereabouts.
The Amber Alert for Dulce remains in effect. Investigators are asking anyone who was in the park that day to come forward.
*** If you have any information, please call police at 856-451-0033 or text anonymously to TIP411. ***
CBS3’s Cleve Bryan and Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.