independent

Monday 21 April 2014

End our desperate wait for news, begs little April's mum

April Jones's mother Coral breaks down during a press conference in the Welsh Government Building in Aberystwyth Ceredigion, where she appealed for a safe return of her daughter. Photo: PA

STRUGGLING to get her words out between heaving sobs, the mother of kidnapped five-year-old April Jones yesterday begged anyone harbouring information about her daughter to end her "desperate" wait for news.

Coral Jones (40) braved television cameras to read a short statement before she was overcome by emotion and wept uncontrollably into her hands.

She said: "There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her.

"We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old. Please, please, help find her."

Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan, the man leading the inquiry, took the highly unusual step of releasing a photograph of Mark Bridger, the man being questioned on suspicion of abduction, who was arrested on Tuesday.

Despite having questioned Mr Bridger repeatedly since his arrest, detectives had still failed to find any sign of April, and resorted to naming Mr Bridger and releasing his photograph in the hope that it would throw up vital new leads.

They also released a picture of Mr Bridger's blue Land Rover Discovery, registration L503 MEP, which was found in a repair garage on the outskirts of April's home town of Machynlleth, Powys, shortly after the abattoir worker was held.

Supt Bevan said it was vital that his team built up a picture of Mr Bridger's movements between 5pm on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday.

April was last seen getting into a vehicle matching the description of Mr Bridger's left- hand-drive Land Rover just after 7pm on Monday, as she played just 100 yards from her home.

Yesterday it emerged that two of Mr Bridger's children from a past relationship live just yards from April and were playing with her on the night she went missing.

Unprecedented

A neighbour of the Jones family also claimed that Mr Bridger took April and some of her friends for a ride in his Land Rover just two days before she was abducted.

On the night she went missing, April had been playing with Sophie (10) and Connor (12), Mr Bridger's children with his previous partner Elaine Griffiths.

Ms Griffiths' four-year-old daughter from another relationship, Erin, was also playing with April, but all three of her children had gone home by the time April was kidnapped.

The only child still playing with her, a seven-year-old girl, is reported to have told her not to get into the car in which she was abducted.

Mountain rescue teams, coastguards, dog handlers and specialist search teams have been searching the fields, rivers, woods and hills near Machynlleth in what has become an "unprecedented" missing person search.

Superintendent Ian John said the force was "in no way scaling back the operation" to find April, adding that the search was "continuing to grow and grow at quite a pace". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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