(WHDH) — Authorities have increased the reward for information that leads to the discovery of a 5-year-old girl who has been missing for nearly a month.
The Bridgeton Police Department says a $52,000 reward is now being offered as the desperate search for Dulce Maria Alavez, of New Jersey, continues.
Alavez was last seen on Sept. 16 in Bridgeton City Park. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a yellow shirt with an elephant on it, white pants, and white shoes.
“To date, we are still searching for that key piece of information that we need to lead us to Dulce or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance,” the department said in a Facebook post. “We continue to examine new leads as they come in and re-examine the massive amount of information we have collected to see if new information helps us connect the dots.”
Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari says his department has received contributions from unions representing state troopers, non-commissioned officers. Superior officers of the New Jersey State Police contributed $10,000 collectively toward the reward.
More than 300 officers have taken part in the investigation but their hunt for clues has proven unsuccessful. Police believe Alavez was likely lured into a van as her mother stood just feet away.
“We are asking the public in this county, across the state, and across the nation to remain vigilant. We still need your assistance,” the department added. “Any information that seems out of place or relevant – such as a sighting of a young child who looks like Dulce or a person who has begun to act suspiciously might be the tip we need to crack this investigation.”
Alavez stands about 3 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds, with dark eyes and dark hair.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Bridgeton Police Department at 451-0033 or the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center at 609-963-6900.
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