| 14.8°C Dublin

April must have daily medicine for cerebral palsy warns mum

MISSING schoolgirl April Jones suffers from cerebral palsy and needs daily medication, her family have revealed.

As they desperately begged for their little girl back, the five-year-old's relatives now fear that if the Welsh girl is alive she could be in serious pain.

Her worried godmother Mair Raftree (41) explained: "She was diagnosed with the condition when she was small.

"This is the third day she's away from home and she's only little. She needs medication for her health problems and without it she will be in pain.

"She goes to the hospital a lot with and her mum Coral tells me that they are always changing her medication. If she doesn't have her medication, she is in pain."


"I am so scared for her and I desperately want her home."

April remained missing today despite a third night of extensive police searches and a desperate plea from her mother.

Detectives are continuing to question abduction suspect Mark Bridger about the youngster's disappearance after they were granted a 12-hour custody extension last night.

The former soldier was arrested by officers on Tuesday after April vanished near her home in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth on Monday.

Mr Bridger (46) has been interviewed on at least two occasions and police will have to decide whether to apply to a court for a warrant of further detention when his custody time expires this morning.

He was picked up by officers while on foot -- with police later confirming he was wearing camouflage-style clothing and that his blue L-reg Land Rover had been retrieved from a repair garage in Machynlleth.

More than 220 police officers and mountain rescue personnel joined the operation as well as three UK experts .

Superintendent Ian John, of Dyfed Powys Police, said the scale of the investigation was "unprecedented".

"The search operation is continuing to grow . We've got over 100 mountain rescue experts, 100 police-trained search officers, 20 dog-handlers, two vessels to search the river, a team of kayakers, as well as the Dyfed Powys Police marine unit.

"There are a large number of sites we are looking at."

One of the areas is a farmhouse where Mr Bridger is believed to have lived recently.

April's mother made a public appeal yesterday, sobbing: "April is only five years old. Please, please, help find her."