Noema Alavez-Perez was only 14 when she gave birth to her daughter, Dulce. When she became pregnant with Dulce’s half-brother, Manuel at 16, Noema dropped out of high school and began to abuse drugs and alcohol. Fed up with her behavior, her parents soon kicked her out of the house.

Dulce and Manuel lived with their grandparents in Bridgeton, New Jersey, while Noema lived in an apartment nearby. At 19, Noema learned she was pregnant for the third time, and finally decided to clean up her act.

Noema stopped partying and started working toward her GED. The teen mom was determined to turn things around and become the mother her children deserved. But then, something happened that changed her life forever.

5-year-old Dulce vanished without a trace.

On September 16, 2019, Noema took Dulce, Manuel, and her 8-year-old sister out for ice cream. Afterward, they went to Bridgeton City Park.

Five months pregnant at the time, Noema sat in the car and scratched a lottery ticket while her younger sister did her homework. Dulce and Manuel headed to the playground, unsupervised and out of view. When Noema realized she couldn’t hear them 10 minutes later, she made her way to the playground where she found Manuel crying. His ice cream was on the ground, and the 3-year-old was pointing to a shed, near the road.

Noema screamed out Dulce’s name, but she was nowhere to be found. At 4:48 pm, she dialed 911 and cried out, “I can’t find my daughter.”

A sketch of the suspect

Two children who were playing at a basketball court nearby claimed that a man in a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and a white baseball cap threw Dulce into a red van with a sliding passenger door, and tinted windows.

An Amber Alert was issued the next day. The suspect was described as a 5ƍ” Hispanic male in his mid-thirties with a goatee and acne on his chin. A sketch was released to the public and over 1,000 tips were submitted, however, none have ever led Dulce, and the man remains unidentified.

Noema was accused of orchestrating Dulce’s abduction after her history with drugs and alcohol was revealed to the public. Some believed that she appeared far too calm for someone whose daughter had just disappeared and questioned why she allowed two young children to play unsupervised.

On the Dr. Phil show, Noema was asked whether she sold her daughter. Noema denied the allegations and claimed she took a polygraph, however, the authorities refused to reveal the results of the test. Noema admitted that her family believes she knows exactly what happened to Dulce.

“She was a sweet girl. Nice, loving. She likes to pretend that she was always a princess. She likes to be around like smaller kids. She always like to give hugs. And kisses. I would say to her that I’m sorry for not looking over her.” — Noema Alavez-Perez

Dulce’s father, Edgar Perez, was 19 when she was conceived, despite the fact that the age of consent in New Jersey is 16. He was deported in December 2018 and now lives in Mexico with his wife. He denies any involvement in Dulce’s disappearance and has not been named a suspect.

The above video provides insight into the layout of Bridgeton City Park, where Noema was parked, and where Dulce may have been abducted.

Dulce was last seen wearing a yellow t-shirt with an elephant on the front, black and white pants with butterflies, and white dressy sandals.

(L) Last image of Dulce on the day she vanished (R) age-progression photo

September 16, 2022, will mark three years since Dulce vanished. Family and friends will be holding a vigil at Bridgeton City Park at 6 pm.

“Although three years is an incredibly sad milestone, it doesn’t stop the fight in searching to find her quickly and safely. Children have been found at the three-year mark, the five-year mark and so on. It’s too early to give up hope on anything. We’re in this to find Dulce and we will not stop until we do.” — John Bischoff of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

If you have any information, contact Bridgeton Police at 856-451-0033, submit an anonymous tip online, or contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. A $75,000 reward is available for information leading to Dulce’s whereabouts.

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