- Police now have until 5pm tomorrow to question Bridger, 46
- Development suggests police are now looking for April Jones’ body
- Family release three more pictures of their cherished daughter
- Police ask public to stand down and let professionals search for April
- April’s school refuse to give up hope on her being found alive
- More than 220 officers have been involved in operation to find April
- Psychologist involved in Madeleine McCann search joins investigation
- Bridger attended the same parents’ evening as April’s parents on Monday
Stephen Wright, Paul Bentley, Nick Fagge, Liz Hull, Emily Allen and Larisa Brown
12:19, 4 October 2012
20:17, 5 October 2012
Detectives have been given another 24 hours to question Mark Bridger over the alleged murder of April Jones as police conceded the five-year-old may not be found alive.
Bridger, 46, was taken into a secure van with a blue blanket on his head where he appeared in the dock at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court for a brief hearing this afternoon.
It means police now have until 5pm tomorrow to quiz him over April’s disappearance before they either have to charge or release him.
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Suspect: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station on his way to appear before magistrates
Mark Bridger, pictured, has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder
The move came as the hunt entered its fifth night and still missing April has not been found.
Search teams are combing the countryside, diving in rivers and despite the treacherous conditions remain committed to finding her.
Earlier today police moved their search to a steep hillside where a witness saw a ‘man with a black bag’.
Bridger was initially arrested on suspicion of April’s abduction on Tuesday afternoon, 21 hours after she vanished while playing near her home in the Welsh town of Machynlleth.
Police have now re-arrested Bridger on suspicion of murder this morning, suggesting the search is now a hunt for April’s body.
Teams of officers were seen on a hillside with shovels
and pitch forks after it emerged two women saw a man carrying a black
bag in the area the day after April was reported missing.
Officers are hoping for more
information to come through in the 24 hours they have to question the
The latest developments came as it was revealed Bridger attended the same school parents’ evening as April’s parents in the hours before she was kidnapped.
He was at Machynlleth primary school on Monday evening where his Land Rover Discovery was reportedly parked in a one-way street, blocking in other parents.
Meanwhile April’s shell-shocked parents Paul, 43, and Coral, 40, issued three new
photographs of their cherished daughter today.
This new picture of April Jones (pictured) has been released today as police turned to a steep hillside where a witness saw a ‘man with a black bag’
April’s family released three new pictures of the schoolgirl including the one, left, with her face painted and right, in a blue cardigan waving a flag
A team of 12 police officers moved in at 10am this morning to the hillside to clear shrubs and vegetation and begin the painstaking work of sifting through the loose shale underneath.
The search area – the size of a
tennis court – leads down to the river where the man carrying the black
bag was seen by two witnesses at 1pm on Tuesday.
A woman who lives close to the scene
said: ‘They have cleared a very specific piece of hillside – they must
have a reason to comb through it like that. It isn’t a routine search of the area like the others that have been going on.
‘They’ve pulled up all the plants – they must be looking for something definite.’
A candle lit vigil is held in Machynlleth today where people are pictured queuing to sign a book of condolences
Solidarity: The public gathers together in church to pray for April Jones and her family
Police sit in prayer during the vigil at St. Peters Parish Church as the search enters its fifth night
Two women told police they spotted a man carrying a black bag down to the river below the hillside.
Carwen Sheen, 36, was chatting to a
friend on the opposite river bank when they saw the figure scrambling
down a gulley leading to the water’s edge.
She confirmed she has given information to police about what she saw and a description of the man she saw at 1pm.
Worried: April Jones has not been seen since Monday evening despite a huge manhunt to find her
Vigil: A notice in church saying ‘We pray for April Jones and her family’
St. Peters Parish Church in Machynlleth where the candle lit vigil was held. A pink cloth is seen tied on the gate entrance in support of the search to find April
Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan revealed shortly after 10.30am that police had launched a murder inquiry.
Bridger has been in custody since Tuesday after being held in connection with the abduction of the five-year-old.
He said: ‘Mark Bridger has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of April Jones. He remains in custody at Aberystwyth Police Station where he continues to be questioned.
Police search teams searching a steep shale bank near a river this morning
A police officer is pictured with a shovel as the search for April continues
Seven police officers can be seen on the steep hillside with pitch forks looking for clues
‘The arrest does not detract from our efforts to find April and we remain committed to finding her.
‘Her family has been informed of this
development and as you would expect they continue to be supported by a
family liaison officer.
‘While this is a significant
development in the investigation, I once again appeal to the public for
information which may help us find April.’
A search team looks along the bank of the River Dyfi as the sky darkens
Det Supt Bevan reiterated his urgent appeal for information from
anyone who saw Bridger or his blue Land Rover Discovery between 6.30pm
on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday.
In a press conference held tonight Superintendent Ian John
said that the search for April was continuing with all emergency
services including the Coastguard, RNLI, RAF mountain rescue and 150
members of mountain rescue teams from across the UK.
They are liaising with more than 60 specially trained search officers.
A trained rescue dog wearing a high visibility vest sniffs around buildings in the west of the town
Superintendent John speaking at a press conference today wearing a pink ribbon in support of the search to find April Jones
Police said they had broken the news of their murder inquiry to April’s ‘devastated’ family
Mr John said: ‘Despite the developments of our investigation, our focus here remains on finding April and the search continues.’
added that he was ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the kindness of members
of the public who have provided food and drink for working officers.
this morning’s press conference Superintendent John said that because of
today’s ‘significant development’ it was no longer appropriate for the
many volunteers who had joined the hunt for April to continue searching.
He said: ‘We want to acknowledge and
are extremely grateful for the efforts of the community volunteers who
have supported the professional searchers in trying to locate her.
‘They have been a vital part of our
team throughout this search operation. Quite frankly, their commitment
has been an inspiration to us all.
‘The dynamics of the search have now
changed and due to the passage of time and the developments within the
investigation it is no longer appropriate for us to expect untrained
members of the public to continue the search.
A police search team go through rubbish at the home of suspect Mark Bridger today
Two police officers search through people’s rubbish bins looking for clues
‘So now we only require professional searchers to be involved in the ongoing search which continues in and around Machynlleth.’
Teachers and pupils at the school attended by April say they refuse to give up hope on her being found safe and well.
Ysgol Gynradd Machynlleth headteacher Gwenfair Glyn said everyone at the school was growing increasingly concerned at the situation.
‘But we refuse to give up hope and are praying that April is still alive,’ she said.
‘This week has been the hardest in the school’s history – an emotional rollercoaster. But everyone has rallied around and provided tremendous support for the school and its community.
‘We are very, very grateful for that.
‘Our thoughts are with April’s family and friends at this desperately worrying time. We will give them whatever help they need.’
Search teams gather at Bridger’s rural home as the search goes on
The school has already created a special area in the foyer to demonstrate their support for their missing friend.
Following a request from her family
for people to put up pink bows as a show of solidarity, her classmates
created small individual heart-shaped messages for April as well as
creating a collection of artwork to present to April’s family.
And swathes of pink fabric have been placed outside the school gates to show April is still in their thoughts.
Yesterday, 16-year-old Jazmin Jones, April’s elder sister, urged
her abductor to come clean about her whereabouts.
April still isn’t found is making me sick and knowing someone knows
something but won’t say it makes me feel even worse,’ she said. ‘I just
want our beautiful princess home now – it’s been too long.’
He said officers were trying to piece together Bridger’s movements at the ‘relevant times’.
Divers preparing to go under: All avenues are being exhausted in the hunt for April
Police divers search the waters in the hope of finding the body of the five-year-old
Today it emerged that two children, aged 7 and 11, were almost lured into a car just 24 hours before April disappeared.
man and a woman apparently tried to abduct the children in Minera, 60
miles from April’s home on Sunday, asking them if they wanted a lift
because it was wet.
said that all the information and leads they’ve received following
April’s disappearance is being investigated by officers.
this week police revealed they are looking into another failed
abduction attempt just over two weeks ago in Aberystwyth, 20 miles away,
involving a different type of car to the one said to have been used to
An aerial shot of police divers hunting for April’s body in the River Dyfi
Divers with snorkels get ready to search the River Dyfi
A sonar boat is used to search the River Dyfi following the disappearance of April
A specialist search team use a sonar equipped boat to continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth
Police have been conducting ‘cell-site analysis’ of Bridger’s mobile phone in
the hope of tracking his exact movements on the night April vanished,
after she was lured into a vehicle by a mystery man as she played with
have reportedly called on the help of one of the world’s leading
forensic psychologists, who advised British and Portuguese police in the
search for Madeleine McCann.
Sullivan is said to have been drafted into the police investigation
team to give advice on interviewing Bridger, The Times claimed.
It was also revealed yesterday that April’s father
Paul Jones, 43, has been unable to join in the police search for his
daughter because he fears he is going blind.
Mr Jones is suffering a degenerative eye disease – stopping him joining
the hordes of volunteers hunting for April. His sight problems also
meant he could not take part in a televised appeal alongside his
devastated wife on Wednesday.
Search teams launch boats into the river as it emerges police are now looking for April’s body
Three members of the search team, and a sniffer dog, pause to discuss the investigation
Two officers on the River Dyfi as they leave no stone unturned in the hunt for April’s body
A close friend and former workmate said: ‘Paul is unable to work because
of his eye problems. He wanted to go out and join the search for April
on the night she went missing but it would have been difficult for him.’
The search operation in the area around Machynlleth was yesterday
focusing on 20 sites including woodland, a river and Bridger’s most
recent home, a whitewashed cottage in the village of Ceinws, five miles
from where April went missing.
At the River Dyfi, dogs able to track a body under water were deployed.
Specialist police search teams were being helped in the hunt by a marine
unit, mountain rescue, the Coastguard and lifeboat services.
the public have also been asked to search their immediate surroundings
including gardens and outbuildings.
David Cameron said. ‘This is every family’s nightmare and the fact that
April suffers from cerebral palsy – something I know a little about from
my own children – only makes this worse. My appeal would be to everyone
– if you know anything, talk to the police.’
John from Dyfed Powys Police said in a press conference yesterday evening
that the force has received more than 2,500 phone calls with information
since launching their appeal.
a pink ribbon in support of a campaign by April’s family to raise awareness of the search, Mr John said investigators
remain ‘determined’ to find the little girl.
He told reporters the search would
continue regardless of the demanding weather conditions, in which search
teams have been forced to work through ‘difficult terrain’.
The search operation has been described as ‘one of the largest of its kind in recent history’.
Solidarity: Pink ribbons have been tied to the fence outside April’s home as her family prays for her safe return
Pink ribbons are tied around several shop doorways in Machynlleth High Street
The family has launched a pink ribbon campaign to help sustain awareness of the search
Bridger was arrested as he
walked along a road on the outskirts of the mid-Wales market town
wearing a camouflage jacket and waterproof trousers on Tuesday afternoon.
His Land Rover Discovery was
recovered from a repair garage in Machynlleth a little later.
had been reported that Bridger was a former soldier, but the Ministry
of Defence said that he had never been a member of the armed
A clock tower stands in Machynlleth, Wales. Locals remain hopeful that April may be found alive
Possession: Pictured is what is believed to be April’s bicycle outside her house. She was said to have been playing with her bicycle when abducted
children who are known to have played with April in the area where she
was snatched, near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives
with her mother Coral, 40.
Earlier this week it was revealed that April suffers from cerebral palsy.
Brain condition cerebral palsy can hinder development and affect posture, balance and
movement, but other than experiencing slight problems with her hands,
April tries to live a normal life.
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