Friday 23 February 2018

Missing April Jones: Pink star lit as part of town’s Christmas lights switch-on

A pink star has been lit for missing five-year-old April Jones as part of her town's Christmas lights switch-on.

April was last seen near her home in Machynlleth, Powys more than two months ago.

A man has since been charged with her murder.

Her disappearance prompted an outpouring of emotion and support from the close-knit community of her market-town home.

While her whereabouts are still a mystery, the plight of the schoolgirl and her distraught family in the run-up to Christmas have not been forgotten.

Now, a one-metre star in April's favourite colour has lit up Machynlleth. It will stay lit each night during the festive period and is positioned about halfway up the town's Maengwyn Street.

A Machynlleth Rotary Club spokesman, which is responsible for the festive lights, said: "Putting up a pink star for April was just something we wanted to do. We didn't approach her parents but we thought the pink star would be a way of remembering April over Christmas.

"The Christmas lights will be on a timer and will go off overnight but the pink star will be kept on and will go off at about 5am or 6am."

The star was donated free of charge by a festive lights company in Kent.

Meanwhile, a number of items will go under the hammer at a charity auction in aid of a fund set up in April's name in Machynlleth.

Among the lots are a pair of designer shoes donated by Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones and a denim jacket donated by singer Bonnie Tyler.

Donations to April's Fund, which is being registered with the Charities Commission, have reached nearly £50,000. It was set up by Machynlleth Town Council last month.

April went missing from near her home and despite a massive search by police, specialist teams and hundreds of volunteers, no trace of her was found.

Mark Bridger, 47, has been charged with murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice.

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