Dulce Maria Alavez
Dulce Maria Alavez
Victim Date of Birth
Date of Death
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Date of Conviction
Body Discovered Date
Five-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez was a sweet girl who was abducted in what is believed to have been a crime of opportunity. Despite an age-progression image there has been little evidence in the case of the missing 5-year-old South Jersey girl.
Who Was Dulce Maria Alavez?
On April 25, 2014, Noema Alavez Perez and Edgar Perez had a baby girl named Dulce Maria. When Noema had Dulce, she was a baby herself at only fourteen years old. Because Noema was so young, her mother helped her raise Dulce.
Initially, Edgar didn’t believe Dulce Maria Alavez was his daughter and wanted nothing to do with her. As Dulce grew and changed, Edgar realized there were similarities between him and the little girl and started to think maybe she was his biological daughter. Unfortunately, Edgar wouldn’t get to spend much time with Dulce before she disappeared. He was deported to Mexico in 2018.
Two years later, Noema gave birth to a son she named Manuel. Since Noema was still only a teenager, mother helped to raise Manuel too. In 2019 Dulce Maria Alavez started school. Dulce Maria Alavez was a shy child who had a difficult time adjusting to kindergarten. Luckily her aunt, Noema’s eight-year-old little sister, attended the same school as Dulce and the two girls rode the bus together.
In the summer of 2019, Noema discovered she was pregnant for the third time. Noema and the baby’s father rented a room at a nearby boarding house. Dulce Maria Alavez and Manuel stayed with their grandmother that summer.
Dulce Maria Alavez’s Mysterious Disappearance
19-year-old Noema Alavez Perez waited for her little sister and Dulce to get off the bus on the afternoon of September 16, 2019. When the girls got off the bus, Noema treated them to ice cream and then took the two girls and her son 3-year-old son Manuel to the park in Bridgeton, New Jersey. While at the store buying ice cream, Dulce, Noema, and the other children were all captured on surveillance footage. In the footage Dulce Maria Alavez could be seen wearing a yellow shirt.
At the store, Noema also purchased scratch-off lottery tickets. Noema scratched the lotto cards off in the car with her sister as Dulce and Manuel ran out of the car to play. From where Noema was parked, she could still see Dulce and Manuel. Every few seconds, Noema lifted her eyes to check on her child. When she looked up and couldn’t see the children, Noema assumed they must be playing on the swing sets, which were out of view.
Noema and her sister walked to the swings when 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez and Manuel didn’t reappear. Standing next to the swing set was Manuel; he was crying, and his ice cream was on the floor. Dulce was nowhere to be seen. Noema knelt and asked her two-year-old son where his sister was. Manuel pointed to some nearby buildings.
Thinking, Dulce knocked her brother’s ice cream out of his hand and was now hiding. Noema looked for her daughter around the buildings. She couldn’t find her daughter, so she saw a group of boys playing basketball and asked if they had heard or seen anything. The young men told Noema although they hadn’t seen Dulce, they did see a suspicious-looking black male near the buildings in a red van. Reported would later state the man was Hispanic, not African-American. He was a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male. This sighting was the only piece of evidence.
The Extensive Search for Dulce Maria Alavez Begins
Noema was now panicked and called her brother. She asked him to bring his dog to Bridgeton City park to help search for Dulce. Typically Noema took the dog with her on family outings since he was protective of the children, but a few days ago, she was asked to leave him home because the dog was scaring other children. When her brother and the dog arrived at the Bridgeton City park, they searched for Dulce, but by 4:50 PM, Noema contacted the Bridgeton City Police Department and reported her daughter missing. An extensive search began despite absence of evidence.
Police officers with the Bridgeton Police Department, firefighters, Dulce’s family, and volunteers scoured the Bridgeton City park and surrounding areas for the missing five-year-old girl. The search party would need last into the early hours of the next day. Investigators confirmed Noema’s version of events when they found the video footage from the surveillance camera at the convenience store.
Twenty-four hours after Dulce disappeared, a Bridgeton Police Department AMBER alert was issued for the five-year-old missing 5-year-old girl. It took so long for a signal to go out because, initially, Dulce’s case didn’t meet its criteria. The Bridgeton City Park is over one thousand acres, so investigators called in helicopters to help search. There is also a nearby lake and river.
The Bridgeton Police Department began to look into Dulce’s community, family, and friends. Many people weren’t willing to talk to the investigators for fear of getting deported since they weren’t United States citizens. Eventually, the authorities announced they “would look the other way” regarding anyone’s immigration status if they had information on Dulce. It was hard for the community to comprehend Dulce went missing in broad daylight.
The public began to look at Noema suspiciously. While other members of her family were inconsolable over Dulce’s disappearance, Noema came off as quiet and cold. When Noema went on the Dr. Phil show a few months after her daughter went missing, she said that’s how she was when he asked about her demeanor. Dulce’s case was also featured in the television series In Pursuit with John Walsh. Age progression photos of Dulce Maria Alavez.
Search for 5-Year-Old Dulce Maria Alavez Moves to Eastern Ohio
Dulce’s case went cold and there was a decline in news coverage until February 2020. A two-page handwritten letter was sent to a library in Austintown, Ohio, detailing Dulce’s disappearance. The note mentioned Noema’s appearance on the Dr. Phil show. Law enforcement didn’t take the message seriously until a few weeks later when a local casino manager received one. The manager of an Austintown casino received a handwritten cryptic letters in the same handwriting as the library note. Whoever wrote the letter told investigators to search an exit I-76 but found nothing.
In March 2020, a 3rd letter appeared in an Ice Cream shop in Ohio. The owner said she found the note weeks after the first two because her shop was closed, and she had just reopened it. Investigators can not determine the card’s ineligible return address, but the zip code that leads back is Culican, Mexico.
Jackie Rodriguez, a family spokesperson for Dulce’s family, also received a letter from Ohio. Inside the envelope were several slips of paper with random words such as “Mexico,” “Alaska,” and “kids home orphanage,” written on them. It didn’t seem like the bizarre message had anything to do with Dulce’s disappearance. The family spokeswoman resigned from her position after the letters. An agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes this was a crime of opportunity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has Dulce Maria Alavez been found?
As of 2022 Dulce Alavez is still missing. She disappeared from the Bridgeton park in 2016. It is still an ongoing investigation.
How did Dulce Maria Alaves go missing?
Dulce Alavez went missing in 2019 in Brigeton, New Jersey while at the Bridgeton City Park with her mom, aunt and brother.
Where was Dulce Alavez from?
Dulce Alavez lived in Bridgeton, New Jersey with her grandmother. Dulce’s 19-year-old mother rented a room in a boarding house nearby.