A New Jersey mother responded Friday to rumors that she might have played a role in the disappearance of her young daughter, insisting in an interview on “Dr. Phil” that she doesn’t know what happened to the girl, CBS Philly reports.
A clip of the interview shows 19-year-old Noema Alavez-Perez answering questions from the show’s host, Phil McGraw, about the disappearance of Alavez-Perez’s 5-year-old daughter, Dulce Alavez.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dulce vanished from a park playground in Bridgeton, New Jersey, on September 16. She had been playing with her 3-year-old brother when Alavez-Perez, who was still inside her car as the siblings played, lost sight of the two children.
Alavez-Perez then began searching for the kids with her young sister.
Alavez-Perez located her son, who was reportedly upset that he had dropped ice cream. When asked where his sister was located, the boy pointed to buildings where the girl may have run behind.
A young girl at the park’s basketball court reportedly told Alavez-Perez that Dulce had run toward the buildings while an unidentified man was near them and that Dulce was allegedly led into a red van.
McGraw asked why the girl would leave her brother and run toward the man.
“I’m not sure,” Alavez-Perez told McGraw.
Alavez-Perez said Dulce would not run toward a stranger and, that if the account is accurate, the girl may have known the man.
But Alavez-Perez also told McGraw she doesn’t think Dulce knew any men who matched the description of the man who purportedly led her into the van. He is described as African-American.
“Then how would she know this person?” McCraw pressed.
“I’m not sure,” Alavez-Perez responded.
Alavez-Perez also indicated that she did not have any black male friends.
The mother noted in the interview that she possibility she was acquainted with a Hispanic who had wanted to date Alavez-Perez, but whose advances Alavez-Perez declined. Still, Alavez-Perez said she did not think the man was someone who “could do something like this.”
Alavez-Perez said she still believes her daughter is alive, but she could not be certain whether police were searching for the girl as a missing person or searching for her body. As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities have not found any evidence that the girl was physically harmed, and did not find any traces of her in the initial weeks of searching.
Alavez-Perez also said authorities had performed a polygraph on her, but that she was not informed of the results.
McGraw asked Alavez-Perez why she took the children to “a park with no cameras, not a single soul around,” apparently referring to speculation that Alavez-Perez might have sold the girl. It is unclear why McGraw believed that no one else was a the park, an assumption that conflicts with numerous earlier reports noting a number of possible witnesses were present in the park the day Dulce went missing.
“You did not sell your daughter?” McGraw asked.
“No,” Alavez-Perez said.
Alavez-Perez also denied involvement in the girl’s abduction or knowing where the girl is located. She also said she has not been contacted for a ransom payment.
CBS Philly reports that some members of Alavez-Perez’s family believe she is not telling the whole story of what happened, even if she did not play a role in her daughter’s abduction.
Local, state, and federal authorities continue to investigate the disappearance.
A reward of more than $50,000 is being offered for information that leads to Dulce’s location. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033.
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