Dulce Maria Alavez

Dulce, circa 2019; Age-progressions to age 9 (circa 2023); Dulce on the day of her disappearance; Close-up of Dulce's t-shirt; Sketch of possible witness; Noema Alavez Perez

  • Missing Since 09/16/2019
  • Missing From Bridgeton, New Jersey
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Sex Female
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 04/25/2014 (9)
  • Age 5 years old
  • Height and Weight 3'5, 60 -70 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A yellow t-shirt with a stylized image of an elephant in white on the front, black and white checked pants with a pattern of flowers, and white sandals. A photo of Dulce on the day of her disappearance, and a photo of the shirt is posted with this case summary. Many reports incorrectly state the image of on the shirt was a koala bear rather than an elephant.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Dulce was last seen at the Bridgeton City Park behind Bridgeton High School on Burt Street, off Babe Ruth Drive, in Bridgeton, New Jersey on September 16, 2019. Her mother, Noema Alavez Perez, had gone to the park with Dulce, Dulce's three-year-old brother Manuel, and Noema's eight-year-old sister. They arrived shortly after 4:00 p.m., stopping first for ice cream.

A photo of Noema is posted with this case summary. Noema and her sister remained in the car while Dulce and Manuel played on the playground about thirty yards away. Noema was checking a scratch-off lottery ticket and about to help her sister with the child's homework when Manuel ran up to the car, crying. This was at approximately 4:20 p.m. His ice cream was lying on the ground, and when she asked him where Dulce he was, he pointed at the spot where he last saw her. He said she'd run towards some red maintenance sheds adjacent to the playground.

Dulce has never been heard from again. The coconut water ice she had with her was also missing. After a search of the surrounding area, Noema called the police at 4:51 p.m.

After interviewing witnesses at the park, police got a description of a suspect in Dulce's disappearance. He is described as a light-skinned man, possibly Hispanic, about 5'6 to 5'8 tall with a thin build. He had acne on his chin. He was wearing a black shirt, red pants, and orange sneakers, possibly Nike brand. He put Dulce into a red van with a sliding door and tinted windows and left the park with her.

Authorities have released a sketch of another man, whom they identified as a possible witness in Dulce's case rather than a suspect or person of interest. He was Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, and 5'7 with a slender build. He had a goatee and some pimples or moles on his chin. He wore a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a white baseball cap. The sketch is posted with this case summary.

At the time of Dulce's disappearance, she and Manuel lived with her maternal grandparents. Noema, who was pregnant, lived in a room at a residence nearby. She was only fourteen years old when Dulce was born, and shared joint custody of her and Manuel with her parents. Dulce's father was in Sinaloa, Mexico at the time of her disappearance; he hadn't been part of her life since he had moved to Mexico when she was three. Neither her father, her mother, nor any other members of Dulce's family have been named as suspects in her case.

Authorities believe Dulce may have been abducted by an opportunistic predator at the park. She had just kindergarten at Buckshutem Road Elementary School about a week prior to her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 19, 2023; age-progressions added.