Authorities have released the sketch of a man they’d like to speak to about the disappearance of Dulce Alavez as the search for the missing 5-year-old reaches the one-month mark.
The unidentified man, who is being described as a Hispanic male between 30 and 35 years old, was in the area of the Bridgeton park at the time Alavez disappeared and are hoping to speak with him about the investigation, according to a statement released by the Bridgeton Police Department and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.
A witness reported seeing the man—who was at the park with one or two children under the age of five—around the same time that Dulce disappeared, authorities said.
Investigators said they are not calling the man a suspect or person of interest in the case, but believe he may “have information that is helpful in determining the circumstances that led to Dulce’s disappearance.”
He is described as approximately 5’7” tall, with a slender build. He was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and white baseball-style hat, authorities said.
The sketch does not depict the same man seen by a child witness shortly after Alavez disappeared who was initially mentioned in the young girl’s Amber Alert. That man was described as being a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male around 5’6” tall with a thin build, no facial hair and acne. The child had reported seeing the man, who was wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt, leading Alavez toward a red van.
Alavez disappeared on Sept. 16 after going to the Bridgeton city park with her family. Her 19-year-old mother Noema Alavez Perez has told the media that Alavez and her 3-year-old brother ran to the playground while she stayed behind in their parked car nearby to scratch off a lottery ticket and help her 8-year-old sister, who was also along on the trip, with her homework.
When she were unable to see the children, she got out of the car and found her son crying, she said. When she asked him where Dulce had gone he pointed to a group of buildings nearby, but there was no trace of 5-year-old.
In a 911 call, Alavez Perez told the dispatcher that witnesses had reported that somebody had taken the young girl, NJ.com reports.
“They said that they saw two men,” she said on the call of men seen near the buildings next to the playground. “They saw a black guy and they saw a Mexican man with two kids.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said investigators remain dedicated to the search.
“We have not given up and remain hopeful that we will determine the circumstances that led to Dulce’s disappearance,” she said. “We ask the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious information. We are still looking for that one piece of information that cracks this case. We need the public’s help to do so.”
Alavez is described as being approximately 3’5” tall with brown eyes and brown hair. On the day she disappeared, she was wearing a yellow shirt with a picture of an elephant, black and white pants and white shoes.
A $52,000 reward has been offered for anyone who may be able to provide information that leads to the 5-year-old.
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