Tuesday 20 February 2018

Missing April’s family make new plea for five-year-old’s return in time for Christmas

April Jones went missing from Machynlleth in mid Wales in October (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)
April Jones went missing from Machynlleth in mid Wales in October (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)
Five-year-old April Jones went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on Monday October 1

Antony Stone

The family of April Jones have made an emotional new plea over the missing five-year-old.

In a brief heart-rending message issued on Facebook, her parents, Coral and Paul Jones, state simply: "We just want you home for Christmas."

The latest message, posted to mark the 11-week anniversary of April's abduction from near her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, suggests relatives are continuing to hope for a miracle.

Searchers are due to take a two-week break from the hunt for April's body but will be back in force in the new year.

Superintendent Ian John, of Dyfed Powys Police, who is heading the search, paid tribute last week to the family's "great dignity and resilience" and spoke of their strength of character.

He also read out a message from April's parents in which they describe "coming to terms with the fact that our baby girl has been taken from us".

The latest Facebook message reads: "11 weeks now my baby April been missing... we just want you home for christmas.

"its so hard you not here running around asking how long before father christmas is coming + you trying to open your pressent + try and help us wrap presents for family + friends.. please come home."

It coincides with the posting of a poignant new photograph of a smiling April standing in front of a Christmas tree.

The schoolgirl was last seen playing out on her bike close to her home on the close-knit Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth on the evening of October 1.

April, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been allowed to play out late after getting a glowing report from school earlier that evening.

Massive efforts to find her body somewhere in the rugged terrain around the town have continued unabated.

- Mark Bridger, 46, has been charged with April's murder. He is also charged with child abduction and perverting the course of justice. He is due to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on January 11 for a plea hearing.

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