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Hunt for missing April (5) to widen beyond town -- police

POLICE looking for five-year-old April Jones have almost finished the search of the Welsh town where she went missing 13 days ago.

Officers from all over the UK have joined in the hunt for her, while volunteers from the ambulance service and the Coastguard are also continuing to search.

Superintendent Ian John, who is leading the search for Dyfed Powys Police, said: "What we've had is an influx of officers from other parts of the UK as we had to send our search teams home to get some rest. They've worked extremely hard over the last few days so we've got some new search teams with us and they're concentrating their search in finishing off Machynlleth town.


"We've nearly completed our searches here and we're now focusing our search operation today in the Ceinws area and for the rest of the weekend."

The Wales football team wore pink ribbons in support of the search for April during the national anthems and line-ups in the match against Scotland yesterday. Mr John said his search teams remain committed to finding the little girl as fears grow that she may never be found.

He said the search plan was developed between the force's own police search advisers and the national police search centre, who have consulted worldwide with others with similar experience.

"The detailed plan that we've put together is very robust and that is the main drive for our search operation," he said.

Mr John also paid tribute to the hundreds of members of the public who helped in the initial search for April, who vanished from outside her home as she played with other children in the mid Wales town of Machynlleth on October 1.

"I've never seen anything like it and nobody that I've spoken to has seen anything even approaching this level of community spirit."

Mark Bridger (46) appeared in court on Wednesday accused of abducting and murdering April, and of unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.