Bridger 'related' to missing April
THE man suspected of murdering April Jones (right) is related to her family, it can be disclosed.
Mark Bridger (far right) (46) is the uncle of the five-year-old girl's two half-sisters.
Detectives looking at the complex relationships of Mr Bridger's past discovered that he had fathered two children with a woman called Elaine Griffiths. They had the girls in the 1990s.
Around the same time, Elaine's sister Karen had two daughters with April's father Paul Jones. He subsequently married April's mother, Coral.
The connection means that Mr Bridger's children are cousins to April's half-sisters.
All four girls took part in the search for April, who went missing on October 1 from close to her home in Machynlleth, in Powys, Mid Wales.
Her half-sisters wrote on Facebook about their "little sister" and released a pink balloon in hope for her safe return.
Their mother Karen said: "The past week has been very hard and the community support for the family has been overwhelming.
"We are trying to focus all our energy on finding little April and staying strong for all the family members involved."
Children as young as seven will provide key evidence in the trial of Mr Bridger, which is expected to take place next year.
The young witnesses, who have already provided video interviews, are expected to give further evidence via video link.
Mr Bridger, a former lifeguard and abattoir worker, has been charged with April's murder as well as child abduction and unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice. (© Daily Telegraph, London)