BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — Cumberland County has released the 911 call when the mother of 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez reported her daughter’s disappearance from a park in Bridgeton. Dulce has now been missing for over two weeks.
In the call from Sept. 16, an emotional Noema Alavez Perez told the 911 dispatcher that she couldn’t find her daughter at Bridgeton City Park.
“I can’t find my daughter,” Alavez Perez said. “We were up there at the park and people say that somebody probably took her.”
Alavez Perez said in the call that she was in the car when Dulce and her brother went running to the park. When Alavez Perez and her sister went looking for her, she says they found her son crying with Dulce nowhere in sight.
“They said somebody threw his ice cream on the floor and my daughter just ran away,” Alavez Perez said.
Police believe a man lured Dulce away from the playground at the Bridgeton park.
Less than a mile from the park, Dulce’s family is constantly tormented over the missing girl. Her uncle, Jose Alavez, though younger, has now become his sister’s protector.
“She gets upset most when she looks at social media and stuff. Everything they say is not true and stuff — to ignore that. Dulce, we’ll find her soon,” Jose Alavez said of Noema Alavez Perez.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pleaded with the public on Thursday, urging anyone with information to come forward.
“We need anyone with information to step forward. Under the attorney general’s immigrant trust directive, you are safe reaching out to the police without fear of any immigration consequences. This is about finding Dulce safe and sound, period,” Murphy said. “Bridgeton is a tight and proud community. Working together in trust and partnership, I hope and pray we can make this happen.”
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.
With all the uncertainty, Jose Alavez says he and his family can only pray for Dulce’s return.
He says the family is preparing to gather for prayer and to search the park once again Saturday morning.
“I want her to be safe, like nothing bad happened to her,” he said. “We’re praying a lot — every morning and every night.”
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 Greg Argos contributed to this report.