Reward in search of missing 5-year-old increases to $52,000

Crime

(CNN) — The reward in the search for a 5-year-old girl in New Jersey who has been missing for nearly a month has increased to $52,000.

Police in New Jersey are still searching for a girl Dulce Maria Alavez, who disappeared Sept. 16 at a Bridgeton playground.

The girl and her 3-year-old brother were playing there while their mother sat in her car with an 8-year-old relative.

The mother told police her son soon ran back to the car crying and pointed to the area where he last saw his sister. They could not locate her and police were soon notified.

A local bank and authorities last month offered a $25,000 reward as they appeal to the public for help. The FBI has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Authorities said they have followed more than 1,000 tips in the case.

They believe she is alive but they’re not sure if she’s still in the area.

Police said they don’t have any strong suspects — that’s why they are increasing the reward for information.

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