‘They think I did something to her’: Mom of missing 5-year-old girl says police believe her family is involved in suspected abduction

Police have shared surveillance video showing Dulce Maria Alavez just before she was snatched from a park while eating ice cream with her brother

The mother of a missing 5-year-old girl who police suspect was kidnapped is pleading for her daughter’s return, and has denied that her family had any involvement in the little girl’s disappearance.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dulce Maria Alavez, 5, vanished from City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey, late Monday afternoon. The girl was reportedly eating ice cream and playing with her brother in the park while her mother watched the children from inside a nearby car, along with another child, believed to be the missing girl’s aunt. At some point, Dulce’s brother started crying. then pointed in the direction of some storage buildings, believing his sister had gone in that direction.

“I thought she was just playing hide-and-seek, that she was playing in the woods,” the girl’s mother told WACU.

Authorities issued an AMBER Alert on Tuesday, when police said they believe a male suspect lured Dulce into a red van.

Dulce’s mother Noema Alavez told NJ.com that she is desperate for her daughter’s safe return, and discouraged that police appear to believe her own family may have played a role in the suspected kidnapping — something authorities have not indicated publicly.

“The police think our family did this,” Alavez told the news outlet.

“They think I did something to her. I didn’t. I love my daughter. I would never do nothing bad to her.”

The mother said that she wants whoever took her daughter “to return her back and stop making her family suffer so much.”

Authorities have described the suspect as a Hispanic male with a thin build, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, with light skin and acne on his face. He was reportedly last seen wearing red pants, a black shirt, and orange sneakers. Police reportedly believe he took the girl into a red van with tinted windows and a sliding door on the passenger side.

According to the NJ.com report, police obtained surveillance images of the missing girl with her family at a Sunoco convenience store, where her mother purchased ice cream for the children before heading to the park late Monday afternoon.

Dulce Alavez missing

The most recent description of the girl’s clothing given in the newer report varies slightly from the descriptions provided in earlier reports, but appears to match the clothing worn in the police-issued surveillance image. It is not clear at this time why the earlier descriptions of her clothing did not match what she was wearing in the surveillance photos. Dolce is now believed to have been wearing a yellow shirt with an elephant print, black and white pants, and white shoes.

Anyone with information about the suspected kidnapping is urged to contact the State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2857 or the Bridgeton police 856-451-0033.

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