Memorial for Dulce Alavez can’t stay at ballpark any longer
BRIDGETON — The memorial against backstop fence that has been filled with posters and pictures of Dulce Alavez since her disappearance five months ago will need to be moved as baseball season nears.
The 5-year-old went missing Sept. 16 when she vanished from Bridgeton City Park as she played with her 3-year-old brother. The last reported sighting of the girl came from a young witness who told police that she was seen walking with a man toward a red van at Bridgeton City Park, authorities have said.
Jackie Rodriguez, a family friend acting as a spokesperson for the Alavez family, says the fence will need to be emptied as baseball season approaches. The process started on Sunday with the removal of flowers. Everything will be moved to a new location after she and the Alavez family meet with Mayor Albert Kelly.
Kelly kept his word and put up "banners all over city hall" as well as signage at the park to keep Dulce's face visible as a reminder she is still missing, Rodriguez said.
A woman who describes herself as a psychic had claimed Dulce was kidnapped, raped and buried behind the Buckshutem Road School where she had just started kindergarten this year. But that claim prompted two weekend searches that found nothing of significance.
The operator of the Marcy Spiritual Guide YouTube channel has fallen out of favor with a public that clamored for new searches after she posted YouTube videos about Dulce, but declined invitations to come to Bridgeton, Rodriguez said.
"She doesn’t want to come after the public raised money for her," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also said that nothing came from a short segment on the new Investigation Discovery channel program "In Pursuit with John Walsh."
No new searches are scheduled for any area in the near future, according to Rodriguez.
A combined $75,000 reward has been raised by several law enforcement agencies, businesses and TV host Dr. Phil McGraw, who interviewed Dulce's mother, Noema Alavez Perez, in December.
No significant evidence has been developed to indicate where Dulce may be but the case remains under investigation by the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, State Police, Bridgeton police and the FBI.
Rodriguez said Dulce's mother, 19-year-old Noema Alavez Perez, is expected to deliver her third child, a girl, by the end of the month.
Anyone with information about Dulce's disappearance should call 800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) option 4, option 8. Information can also be reported to Bridgeton's TIP 411 text service by texting "Bridgeton" plus your tip to 847411.