April search enters fourth night
Welsh police tonight spoke of the “humbling” wave of support for their efforts in finding April Jones, as the search for the missing girl (5) entered its fourth night.
More than 2,500 calls with information have been received by police in response to their appeal yesterday.
Residents across the small Welsh town of Machynlleth donned pink ribbons today in a symbolic gesture of continued hope. The gesture came in response to a plea from April’s mother, Coral Jones, to wear ribbons of pink, her daughter’s favourite colour.
“It is a symbol of the hope that April is going to come back and we are all still optimistic,” said Machynlleth Mayor Gareth Jones.
Superintendent Ian John, of Dyfed Powys Police, said officers from across England and Wales are helping to field calls and searchers are “determined” to find April.
Speaking outside the town’s leisure centre, which has become a focal point in co-ordinating local search efforts, Mr John said: “I want to turn to April’s family. I’m sure we all are feeling for them at this terrible time, also the friends and the extended family.
“I just want to remind everybody that’s why we’re here tonight, in the pouring rain in Machynlleth, is to focus on the search and do everything that we can to bring this operation to a conclusion.”
He added: “I think what we’ve got to hold onto is that we continue our search, and the good news is that everybody is determined to follow this through.”
Chief suspect Mark Bridger (46) of Machynlleth, remains in custody and is still being questioned at Aberystwyth police station. Officers have been given extra time to hold him but have to either charge or release him by 5pm tomorrow.
They are still desperate to piece together his movements from 5pm on Monday until his arrest at 3.30pm on Tuesday.
April was seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.
Mr Bridger drives a Land Rover Discovery which was seized from a local repair garage on Tuesday and fast-tracked for forensic examination.
Expert search efforts today have continued to focus on a small farmhouse in the nearby village of Ceinws where he was known to be most recently living.
Search teams began lifting up paving slabs outside the property while activity continued inside.
Along the fast-moving River Dyfi teams have spent all day scouring the area.