BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — More than a month after her disappearance, the family of Dulce Maria Alavez continues holding out hope she will be found. The family held a press conference Wednesday morning, where they pleaded for the public to continue helping in the search for the missing 5-year-old.
They announced another search is planned for Sunday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. at Bridgeton Park. They say they will go out into the community and go door-to-door to try to search for Dulce. They are not giving up hope. They also thanked all those volunteers and law enforcement who helped over the past five weeks.
“We would like to invite everyone to come together again this weekend for a massive search,” family friend Jackie Rodriguez said during the press conference. “On that day, we will be combing several areas that have not yet to be searched. We would never give up on you Dulce Maria, and we are asking you, the public, to not give up on her. Days go by with no answers, with no leads, with nothing. It’s just breaking them day by day.”
The family is broken as they continue their search for Dulce.
“I miss her, like a lot. I want her to come back,” said Camila Alavez Perez, who is Dulce’s 8-year-old aunt.
Camila was in the park with Dulce on Sept. 16 when she went missing. Dulce’s grandmother, Norma, spoke through a translator at the press conference.
“We still have hope that we still will find her. We will never give up the hope,” Norma said via Rodriguez.
A makeshift memorial still stands near where Dulce went missing.
Family said at the time Dulce was playing with her little brother, Manuel, while their mother was sitting in the car.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said Wednesday they’re still working Dulce’s case but said there were no updates. Webb-McRae also said the park and nearby areas were searched extensively.
Last week, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office released a sketch of the man police say they want to speak with. Prosecutors say the man is not a person of interest or suspect, but could be a witness.
He is described as Hispanic, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall with a slender build and about 30 to 35 years old.
At Wednesday’s press conference announcing the new search, family says they’re hoping for answers.
“I hope somebody knows something and gives us some kind of lead,” Rodriguez said. “I hope somebody that knows something comes to the search and leads us to something.”
CBS3’s Howard Monroe contributed to this report.