Family of missing 5-year-old girl Dulce Maria Alavez marches to Bridgeton city hall

BRIDGETON, New Jersey -- A brisk breeze rustled ribbons and a banner Monday morning at Bridgeton, New Jersey city park.

The site is a memorial that's been present at the park since the disappearance of 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez back in September.

The child was reportedly last seen playing with her little brother at a nearby playground and hasn't been seen since.

The chill in the air in contrast to the heated emotions felt by the child's friends and family who claim support from the community has been wavering.

"It's really hard for us 'cause we're not getting any answers no more, not like we used to. They just keep saying their investigating, but literally there's no answers," said Dulce's mother, Noema Alavez.

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Now roughly eight months pregnant, Dulce's mother marched along with supporters from the park Dulce was last seen to the steps of city hall.

There, awaited Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly.

"Dulce will never be forgotten, never be forgotten," Kelly said.

During their meeting, supporters asked the mayor for things like waived fees for permits to hold vigils and amnesty for undocumented residents who may be afraid to come forward with information.

A reward for information now stands at $75,000.

"They're not going to be asked about their documentation, we're not going to follow up on that. All we want is information about Dulce Maria Alavez," Kelly added.

The gathering is also the first time the family has met face-to-face with the city's leader.

"Are you going to put cameras at the park?" asked Alavez.

"Yes, we are looking to see how we can make that happen," the mayor responded.

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Dulce Maria Alavez vanished on the afternoon of September 16, prompting an all-out search to find the 5-year-old girl.



Afterward, some community members somewhat more optimistic.

"We'd rather have him tell his city not to give up," said family spokesperson Jackie Rodriguez.

Dulce's mother is not giving up either.

"We miss her a lot. We're not going to give up until we find her," she said.

The mayor says later this month he's organizing another flyer distribution around the city to get the word about the search for Dulce.

The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office says the investigation is going and again reminds the public they will not ask about immigration status.
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