Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, NJ/Facebook
- On Tuesday, New Jersey officials released a sketch of a possible witness to the abduction of 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez.
- Dulce disappeared on September 16, after her mother took her to Bridgeton City Park with her siblings.
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The case of a 5-year-old girl who has been missing for a month took a turn on Tuesday when New Jersey officials released a sketch of a man they believe may witnessed Dulce Maria Alavez's abduction.
Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, NJ/FacebookDulce was last seen running towards the playground at Bridgeton City Park with her younger brother on September 16, according to NJ.com. Her mother, 19-year-old Noema Alavez Perez, initially stayed behind in the car with her 8-year-old daughter, but went to check on the other two kids when the older daughter said she couldn't see her siblings on the playground.
When Perez got to the playground, her son was crying and asking for his sister.
An Amber Alert was later issued when a child who was at the playground reported seeing a man direct a child into a red van with tinted windows at the park. (While that man was initially described as an abductor, investigators later said they just wanted to speak to him.)
The sketch of the man officials released Tuesday is not being described as a suspect or a person of interest. Rather, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a statement on Facebook that he is "simply a possible witness we want to speak with at this time."
The sketch was put out after a new witness came forward and described a person that they had seen at the park, who had been with two children under the age of 5 around the time that Dulce went missing.
Officials said the witness is not the same one who prompted the Amber Alert with their description of a man ushering a child into a vehicle at the park.
"We are asking this person (or anyone who may recognize him) to come forward, as investigators wish to speak with him as it is believed that he may have information that is helpful in determining the circumstances that led to Dulce's disappearance," Webb-McRae said.
The man in the sketch is described as Hispanic and about 5-feet, 7-inches tall. He is of a slender build and 30-35 years old. He was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a white baseball-style cap at the time.
Dulce is about 3-feet, 5-inches tall with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with the picture of an elephant on it, black and white pants, and white shoes.
A $52,000 reward is being offered for information on Dulce's disappearance.
Anyone with information on the man is being asked to contact the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033. Anonymous tips can also be texted to TIP411 with "Bridgeton" in the message.
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