An Amber Alert remains in effect in New Jersey for 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez amid a statewide manhunt for an unidentified individual who police say was seen leading the little girl into a red van.
Dulce was last seen Monday afternoon in the area of City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Dulce's mother reported to authorities that she saw her daughter playing on the swings with her 3-year-old brother, about 30 yards away, while she remained in her car with an 8-year-old relative. The mother said the toddler returned to her car without his sister and she was unable to find her, according to a press release from the Bridgetown Police Department.
Local, state and federal authorities have been searching for the little girl ever since.
Dulce's mother, Noema Alavez Perez, said her daughter "would never run off" or "walk by herself."
"All of us are missing her a lot," Perez told reporters Wednesday.