It has been three years since a young girl went missing from a Cumberland County park.
Friends, family and supporters gathered at Bridgeton City Park in front of a tree dedicated to Dulce Maria Alavez.
“No one can imagine the suffering, the pain that we're going through every day,” says Noema Alavez Perez, Alavez’s mother.
Alavez was just 5 years old when she went missing on Sep. 16, 2019. Authorities say she was abducted from the park during a family outing.
Those who organized Friday’s vigil say that they are gathering to remind the community that Alavez is still missing and that they have not given up hope that they will one day find her.
They are asking anyone who may have information to come forward.
“How can you hold such a secret that immense for three years without losing sleep, because that could be your child,” says event organizer Brenda Trinidad.
And they have a message for whoever may have taken the girl.
“I just want whoever took her, I want them to know there's no time on justice and that we will find the person who took her,” says event organizer Anna Donnelly.
Alavez’s disappearance led to a massive police response, including from the FBI. Authorities have released age-processions images of how Alavez may look now.
There is a $75,000 reward for information that can help find Alavez.
“I want to say thank you to all of you guys for keeping my daughter's story alive, knowing that she's still missing and that we haven't found her,” Perez says.
Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly says that since Alavez's disappearance, cameras have been installed in the park and police now do regular patrols.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2857; the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033; or by calling 911 immediately. Tips can be made anonymously.