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It has been more than 18 months since then 5-year-old Dulce María Alavez disappeared from a New Jersey playground, devastating her family.
“I miss her so much, all I want is to see her again, hug her," said Norma Pérez, the little girl's grandmother.
In hopes of garnering support and keeping the little girl’s memory alive, the family plans to buy candles and a cake to celebrate Dulce’s 7th birthday Sunday.
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“I will not lose faith, and I hope to hear something from my granddaughter saying that she is okay, that she is going to arrive with us," the grandmother said.
Ahead of the girl's birthday, investigators announced their collaboration with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to develop an computerized image of what Dulce would look like today.
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Authorities believe Dulce was abducted while she was playing with her 8-year-old niece at a park on September 16, 2019.
According to police, 10 minutes later, her mother said she found Dulce’s 3-year-old brother crying, and her daughter nowhere to be found.
“I know that there's somebody that knows something but is scared to come forward... I believe there's more than one person that knows," said Jackie Rodríguez, former spokesperson of the family.
The Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari also said police are working on "new developments," although they declined to elaborate.