Missing NJ 5-year-old abducted in red van, cops say
An Amber Alert was issued late Tuesday night for a 5-year-old girl who went missing from a Bridgeton park on Monday afternoon after police spoke to witnesses who said she was abducted.
Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen at City Park in Bridgeton at a playground playing with her 3-year-old brother while her mother, Noema Alaves Perez, remained in her vehicle parked about 30 yards away with an 8-year-old relative, according to Bridgeton police. The 3-year-old came back to the car without Alavez and after a brief search of the immediate area, Perez called 911, police said.
Perez told 6 ABC Action News at first she thought her daughter was hiding.
Bridgeton’s police said in a post on the department's Facebook page investigators learned on Tuesday that the girl was taken by a man described who led her to a red van with a sliding side door and tinted windows.
The Amber Alert says the man placed her in the backseat before driving away.
The man was described by police as light-skinned, possibly Hispanic, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8 tall with a thin build, no facial hair, and with acne on his face. He was wearing orange sneakers, possibly Nike brand, red pants and a black shirt, police said.
An update about what the girl was wearing was also part of the alert: a yellow shirt with a koala bear on the front, black and white checkered long pants with a flower and white sandals.
The decision by State Police to issue the Amber Alert was made after “interviewing and re-interviewing people who were in the city park near the ball fields on Monday afternoon," police wrote.
Police said that a search went on all day with an extensive ground search involving more than 50 officers from various agencies within the county, city fire department personnel and K9s from throughout the state.
A waterway called the Raceway was also drained by city employees.
Bridgeton police chief Michael Gaimari told the Vineland Daily Journal the girl's father is in Mexico and not involved with Perez.
Police asked anyone with information is urged to call the police department at 856-451-0033.