BRIDGETON – Friends and family of Dulce Maria Alavez gathered in front of her tree in Bridgeton City Park to celebrate her 8th birthday on Monday.

She went missing from the same park in September 2019 as she played with her brother. There has been no sign of her since but the investigation led by the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office remains open. A $75,000 reward is still being offered for information leading to her whereabouts.

"In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we hold out hope that she is alive. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the number below. Tips may be made anonymously to bpd.tips or ccpo.tips." Prosecutor Jennifer Webb McRae said in a statement.

Dulce Alavez age progression photos (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children), Dulce at age 5 (FBI)
Dulce Alavez age progression photos (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children), Dulce at age 5 (FBI)
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"Moana" Themed Cake

The party was complete with a birthday cake, balloons from her favorite movie "Moana" and the singing of Happy Birthday.

"We want to know what happened to Dulce. We want answers," her mother Noema Alavez-Perez told NBC Philadelphia.

Friend Brenda Trinidad told NBC Philadelphia that Noema beats herself up over "one wrong mistake" the day Dulce went missing. Alavez-Perez was in her car helping a cousin with homework sitting in the car while her children played.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in September, on the second anniversary of Dulce's disappearance, released two age-progression images of what Dulce could look like.

Information can be called into the prosecutor's office at 856-453-0486, New Jersey State Police at 609-882-2000 X 2554, the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Select option 4, then option 8 or Bridgeton Police at bpdops.com/tips.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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