Wednesday 18 October 2017

April Jones abduction: Local man (46) is arrested

April Jones was last seen getting into a light coloured van which drove off in the mid Wales town of Machynlleth on Monday evening. Photo: PA
Hundreds of local residents are searching for April Jones who went missing in mid-Wales. Photo: PA
Five-year-old April Jones

A 46-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of missing five-year-old April Jones.

Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan, from Dyfed Powys Police, said he was arrested in the Machynlleth area within the last hour.



April was last seen by another child getting into the driver's side of a grey van which drove off in the Mid Wales town of Machynlleth at about 7pm last night.



Mr Bevan said: "Within the last hour we have arrested a 46-year-old male from the Machynlleth area who is being detained at Aberystwyth police station.



"We made the arrest just outside Machynlleth and we are hopeful that this individual will assist us in locating April, who is still missing.



"We are still pursuing all lines of inquiry with a view that April is still alive and we will continue to do so until we find her."



The investigation remains "fast-moving" and he said he may have a further update later.



Superintendent Ian John said: "We are continuing our search for April and that continues, as our priority is to find her and bring her home to her family.



"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted us in this search."



He paid tribute to the local community, British Transport Police, officers from surrounding forces and offers of support from forces around the UK, including the Metropolitan Police, saying it was "the police family really pulling together to try and find April".



He also thanked Aberdovey and Brecon mountain rescue teams.



A long stretch of the A487 from Machynlleth northwards has been closed in both directions as part of the investigation, police said.



The Traffic Wales website said the area around the Dyfi bridge would be closed "until further notice".



In interviews after the press conference, Mr Bevan said that the arrested man lived locally and had a vehicle similar to the one described by those who witnessed April's abduction.



"We knew he was in the area, we've been anxious to trace him and speak to him," he said.



The man was arrested a couple of miles outside Machynlleth, while he was on foot, and his vehicle has now been recovered.



Mr Bevan said: "He was on foot, he was walking on the side of the road and he was detained by officers and taken into custody.



"Officers have now recovered his vehicle, that was found in the Machynlleth area."





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