The mother of a 5-year-old girl who vanished from a New Jersey park earlier this week says she has been facing harassment, and that the father of her unborn child is facing deportation after authorities questioned him about Dulce Maria Alavez’s disappearance.
The girl’s mother, Noema Alavez Perez, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that police grilled her boyfriend about her daughter’s suspected kidnapping, and discovered during questioning that he is an undocumented Mexican immigrant. She told the newspaper that she believes her boyfriend was taken into ICE custody and now fears he may be deported.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dulce was last seen at City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey, late Monday afternoon, as she was playing with her younger brother. Both siblings were eating ice cream as their mother was in a nearby car with an 8-year-old child believed to be the missing girl’s aunt. At some point, Dulce’s brother cried and indicated his sister had gone off in the direction of some storage buildings.
Police reportedly questioned eyewitnesses at the park who said they saw a male “leading” the girl into a red van with tinted windows and sliding door on the passenger side. The suspect is described as light-skinned Hispanic male with a thin build, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, with no facial hair and acne on his face. He was reportedly last seen wearing red pants, a black shirt, and orange sneakers.
MOTHER'S MESSAGE: The mother of missing 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez is hoping for her daughter's safe return. Police issued an amber alert Tuesday night: https://t.co/I21kQeVsna pic.twitter.com/ykBWOjfzii
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) September 18, 2019
Alavez Perez, 19, is reportedly five months pregnant; the boyfriend she claims is facing deportation is the unborn child’s father. She told ABC 6 that her daughter is shy, and that it would be unlike her to just run off with someone. “She’d be scared,” Alavez Perez said.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer report, federal officials could not confirm or deny the mother’s claims that her boyfriend was taken into ICE custody.
A reporter for a local news outlet told CrimeOnline that Dulce’s father is believed to be in Mexico. It is not clear if Dulce has had a relationship with her father or if Alavez Perez is in contact with him.
The girl’s mother told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she has been facing intense criticism from the public and that she believes police suspect she had something to do with Dulce’s disappearance.
“People think I’m not going crazy enough,” Alavez Perez told the newspaper. She said that on Tuesday, while she was part of the search party looking for her daughter, someone in her family offered her a slice of pizza. She accepted, the first thing she had eaten in 36 hours, she said.
“If my daughter was missing, I wouldn’t eat!’ this lady yelled at me,” Alavez Perez told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Then she started taking a video of me. My mother told me not to go back to the park because everyone is talking bad about me.”
Police obtained surveillance video of Dulce and her family captured at a Sunoco convenience store on Monday afternoon, where Dulce’s mother bought the children ice cream before taking them to the park. As she surveillance images show, Dulce was wearing a yellow shirt with an elephant print, black-and-white pants, and white shoes.
On Tuesday, authorities issued an AMBERT Alert and said that they were treating Dulce’s disappearance as a suspected kidnapping. The AMBER Alert remains in place as of Thursday, and police have not named any suspects — though Alavez Perez said she felt like police were treating her like one.
“The police tell me, ‘If you know where she is, tell us,'” Alavez Perez told the newspaper.
“But I told them everything. They think I’m lying; I’m telling the truth.”
Anyone with information 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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