BRIDGETON — The FBI, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and Newfield National Bank are offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the whereabouts of Dulce Maria Alavez, a missing city 5-year-old girl.

Dulce was last seen Monday afternoon while playing in City Park. She was wearing a yellow shirt with a koala on the front, black and white pants with butterflies and flowers on them and white dress sandals. She has brown eyes, weighs 60 to 70 pounds, has long brown hair, is about 3 feet tall and is Hispanic.

County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae announced the reward money Thursday afternoon during a news conference outside the park.

“We are getting information from all different sources,” said Webb-McRae. “We are open to any tips, any leads.”

Dulce may have left the area with a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches in height with a thin build, no facial hair and acne, according to a flier created by the FBI.

The flier asks anyone with information call 800-225-5324 (800-CALL-FBI) and select option 4, then option 8. People also can text information to tip411, beginning the text with the word Bridgeton.

“Time is of the essence. We need to find young Dulce,” Webb-McRae said.

Webb-McRae said she expected another briefing to be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the same location.

“We are asking the public to be patient,” Webb-McRae said. “We’re asking them to give us any information, so we can follow up on any leads.”

Ten-thousand dollars of the reward money comes from Newfield National Bank, $5,000 from the Prosecutor’s Office and $5,000 from the FBI. Additional reward money may be available, per the FBI flier.

Ivan Lucero and his father, Manuel Lucero, the owners of Tortilleria El Paisano on North Pearl Street, said they also had put up $5,000 in reward money for information so that Dulce could be found.

“It’s heartbreaking. I have a little girl too. I don’t want to see a child go missing,” said Ivan Lucero, 33, a lifelong city resident.

Hopefully, with the amount of reward money being offered, someone will talk, he said.

“When I see her, she looks like my daughter,” said Lucero, who added he has been keeping a more careful eye on his daughter since Dulce was reported missing. “If that was my daughter, I would hope the community would help me out.”

City Business Administrator Stephanie Bush-Baskette listed all the agencies that have been looking for Dulce, including city police, firefighters, emergency management, public works, the FBI, the Downe Township dive team, Vineland police, State Police, the county Sheriff’s Office, volunteer experts from North Jersey and regular citizens.

Mayor Albert Kelly said he was happy everyone was able to come together to search for Dulce.

“I’m optimistic with all this manpower that we will be able to find her alive and well,” he said.

Contact: 609-272-7202


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