AMBER ALERT TIMELINE: The search for Dulce Maria Alavez

BRIDGETON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen at the Bridgeton City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey on the afternoon of September 16, 2019.

A massive search was launched and an Amber Alert was issued as an all-out effort continues to find the girl.

Here is a timeline of events in this case so far:

SEPTEMBER 16

Before 4 p.m.
Surveillance video captures the last known images of Dulce. The video shows Dulce getting ice cream at a store with her mother, 3-year-old brother and an 8-year-old relative.

After 4 p.m.
Dulce arrives at the Bridgeton City Park with her relatives. She and her 3-year-old brother run off to play while her mother, Noema Alavez, stays in the vehicle with the 8-year-old relative.

4:20 p.m.
Dulce's 3-year-old brother returns to the car without his sister. Noema Alavez begins looking for her daughter, but cannot find her.

5 p.m.
Noema Alavez calls police to report her daughter missing.

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Surveillance video shows the last known images of Dulce Alavez before she went missing.



SEPTEMBER 17

As word of Dulce's disappearance spreads, the FBI and members of the Bridgeton community join the effort to find the little girl.

An Amber Alert is issued shortly after 10 p.m.

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In the alert, police say it is believed Dulce 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.

Police say the man led Dulce from the playground to a red van with a sliding door and tinted windows.

SEPTEMBER 18

People gather in Bridgeton City Park for a vigil, praying for Dulce's safe return.

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More than 100 attend vigil for missing NJ girl. George Solis reports on Action News at 11 on Sept. 21, 2019.



SEPTEMBER 19

Family members issue another plea for help as the search for Dulce continues.

"We have not been able to eat nor sleep. You can't imagine what we are going through. We are very sad. Please help our family. I beg of you."

There is now a combined $20,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the identification or conviction of a suspect.

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Family makes plea for 5-year-old's safe return. John Rawlins reports on Action News at 4 on Sept. 19, 2019.



SEPTEMBER 20

The reward for information grows to $25,000.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae issues a plea for witnesses to come forward: "We're asking them, we're appealing to them, we're encouraging them to come forward."

RELATED: Forensic expert offers insight into search for missing NJ girl Dulce Alavez
SEPTEMBER 21

The reward for information grows to $35,000.

SEPTEMBER 23

As the search for Dulce enters its second week, authorities ask anyone who visited the Bridgeton City Park on the day she vanished share photos and videos they took in the area.

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Video released by the family of missing Bridgeton girl Dulce Maria Alavez, September 26, 2019



SEPTEMBER 24

Investigators announce they were able to successfully contact Dulce's father, who lives in Mexico. The FBI said it was working on having agents interview the father face-to-face.

The FBI adds Dulce to its "Most Wanted Missing Persons" list.

SEPTEMBER 26

Dulce's family releases new video of the child as the search for her passes the 10 day mark.
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Search continues for Dulce Maria Alavez. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 4pm on September 26, 2019.

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