BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — Bridgeton police say finding missing 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez remains a “daily top priority” as the investigation nears five months. Part of the investigation has involved following up on “tips” provided by psychics, according to police.
Dulce went missing from a playground at Bridgeton City Park on Sept. 16, 2019. Bridgeton police shared an update on the investigation on Facebook Tuesday.
“The case remains front and center,” Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari Sr. said. “Investigators have pursued and continue to pursue every investigative lead and possibility and I believe they have made significant progress in the overall investigation even though we have not located the child or determined the exact circumstances surrounding her disappearance.”
The post says the FBI, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and police have explored every avenue during their investigation, including following up on several tips provided by psychics.
“[Gaimari] added that investigators have also followed up on several of ‘tips’ being provided by psychics through personal contact or social media ‘only’ when the information ‘may’ have some ‘slight possible connection.’ However he emphasized that following up on ‘random’ information being provided by these individuals would take investigators away from legitimate avenues of investigation,” the Facebook post reads.
Police say investigators are still receiving and following up on tips “on a daily basis,” but they warn about unsubstantiated rumors and misinformation about the case being spread on social media.
“It’s easy to post that police or the city or county or anyone is not doing enough when we have not located Dulce, and I understand,” Gaimari added, “but I can assure you that all the agencies involved, inclusive of the City of Bridgeton Mayor Kelly and City Council are fully committed in resolving this investigation and have contributed all resources available, including substantial amounts of overtime for investigators throughout the past four months.”
Bridgeton police say Dulce was abducted from the park as she played on the swings with her younger brother. Her mother was sitting in her car about 30 yards away when they believe Dulce was lured by a man into the backseat of a red van, according to police.
*** If you have any information, please call Bridgeton police at 856-451-0033 or text anonymously to TIP411; or call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI and select option 4, then select option 8. ***