New Jersey cops search for girl, 5, last seen at playground

A little girl’s disappearance from a south New Jersey playground has prompted a massive search and a criminal probe, police said Tuesday.

Ponytailed Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen in Bridgeton on Monday afternoon, investigators said.

“She will never runoff,” Noema Alavez, 19, said of her daughter in an interview with Fox 29 Philadelphia. “She will never walk by herself or do something like that.”

Dulce Maria Alavez, 5, was last seen running toward swings at a New Jersey playground with her younger brother.

Dulce Maria Alavez, 5, was last seen running toward swings at a New Jersey playground with her younger brother. (Bridgeton Police Department)

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A police chopper circled over Bridgeton City Park Tuesday morning as the search resumed.

Alavez was in a car with her 8-year-old sister and watched Dulce and her 3-year-old son run toward the swings with ice cream cones in their hands, WCAU reported.

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Ten minutes later, the boy, who could not articulate what happened, ran back crying, according to the station.

Police said they had no reason to believe Dulce had been abducted, the station reported.

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Both stations reported that Ducle’s disappearance was being handled as a missing person’s case, but a criminal investigation by Bridgeton police also was underway.

Dulce had a yellow shirt on when she disappeared.