Bridgeton community joins in search for missing New Jersey girl

Maggie Kent Image
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Bridgeton community joins in search for missing New Jersey girl
Bridgeton community joins in search for missing New Jersey girl. Maggie Kent has more on Action News at 6 p.m. on September 17, 2019.

BRIDGETON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Noema Alaves-Perez is praying for her daughter's safe return. As the hours pass, she's still in shock.

An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday.

"She would never run off, she would never walk by herself she never did this," said Alaves-Perez.

It's been more than 24 painstaking hours for Alaves Perez, who last saw her daughter at a playground in Bridgeton City Park.

Dulce Maria Alaves, 5, was playing with her younger brother. When she couldn't be located, at first, Alaves-Perez thought she was hiding. But, as time went on, worry continued to mount.

SEE ALSO: Search continues for missing Bridgeton, New Jersey girl

"We thought she was just hiding. I went over there and couldn't find her. I looked in the woods too. But no, she wasn't in there," said Alaves-Perez.

Now state and local police are joined by the FBI Child Abduction Division.

The passing time is a concern to law enforcement.

Authorities believe the girl was taken by a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic male, roughly 5-foot 6-inches tall. He was believed to be wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt. It's unknown if the suspect knew the girl or the family.

Complete strangers have volunteered their time to help in the search which spans more than 1,000 acres of parkland.

Albina Sharp of Millville knows the park well and decided to use that knowledge for good.

"It's good to look everywhere even in the trash bins, you never know when you may find something that will lead to something," Sharp said.

Some grabbed their dogs to sniff the tree line, others offered up any time they could spare.

"I could see this is a difficult search, and I pray to God that she is found safely," Sharp said.

K9s have searched the mother's car which was still parked in the playground parking lot.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 911.