September 16 marked the four-year anniversary of the disappearance of Dulce Maria Alavez (who was five at the time of her disappearance).
Last Thursday, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office sent out a press release stating: “We thank the press and the public for continuing to keep Dulce’s disappearance in the public’s eye as we continue our investigation. In the absence of evidence confirming Dulce’s demise investigators hold out hope that Dulce is still alive. Dulce would be nine years old as of today. We thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for its work in this matter and for creating an artist’s rendering of what nine-year-old Dulce would look like today.
“Angeline Hartmann, NCMEC’s director of communications at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (missingkids.org) said this about the new artist rendering:
“ ‘Our age progression images have helped bring home missing children many times,’ said Angeline Hartmann, Director of Communications at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. ‘We ask people to keep in mind that this may not be exactly what Dulce looks like now. This is an approximation, meant to spark recognition. We’re asking everyone to take a look and see if there’s something familiar about this face. Remember, we’re no longer looking for a five-year-old and a child can change a lot in four years. We know our images can work. We just need the right person to see this and make that call.’ ”
The press release adds: “We are asking the media and the public to share the image of what Dulce would look like at nine years old and to report any and all possible sightings and/or any little thing that might seem suspicious. Any information, no matter how small or insignificant, might be the puzzle piece that leads us to identify the person(s) responsible for Dulce’s disappearance. Every lead has been and will be investigated.
“Since Dulce Maria Alavez disappeared from the Bridgeton City Park on September 16, 2019, hundreds of interviews have been conducted. Investigators have traveled to and/or interfaced with law enforcement (federal, state and local) in numerous states and in Mexico. Tips continue to come in regarding this matter and each and every bit of information has been investigated. In the past year, investigators have traveled out of state to follow up on tips that have recently come in regarding Dulce’s disappearance.
“Investigators from the Bridgeton Police Department, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to meet to strategize on investigative leads and avenues of investigation. We thank all of the agencies who have participated throughout the years to assist in this investigation.
“We encourage the public to assist law enforcement by providing any information that they feel may be helpful. Information can be provided anonymously to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office by visiting ccpo.tips or via the Bridgeton Police Department at bpd.tips as well. Information can also be relayed by calling the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033. We want the public to know that if they are witness in this matter, their immigration status will not in any way be used against them.”