Police given time to quiz Bridger

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

Police in Wales have been given extra time to question Mark Bridger after revealing he is now being held on suspicion of murdering five-year-old April Jones.

The 46-year-old was originally arrested on suspicion of abducting April.

Mr Bridger was driven to Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court in a secure van, where an application was made for a further warrant of detention, giving police until tomorrow afternoon before they will have to charge or release him.

The latest developments came as April’s parents Paul (43) and Coral (40) issued three new photographs of their daughter.

Following his brief appearance before magistrates, Mr Bridger was flanked by two officers as he was escorted back into Aberystwyth Police Station with a blue sheet over his head.

April was seen willingly getting into a 4x4-style vehicle on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the town of Machynlleth at 7pm on Monday.

Mr Bridger was initially arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of abduction.

He was picked up on a main road not far from the river Dyfi - with his blue Land Rover Discovery found at a nearby repair garage.

As search teams began a fifth day of scouring the rugged terrain around the town police announced the grim news indicating they were working on the assumption that April was dead.

Det Supt Reg Bevan told a press conference in Aberystwyth: “Mark Bridger has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of April Jones. The arrest does not detract from our efforts to find April and we remain committed to finding her.

“Her family has been informed of this development and, as you would expect, they continue to be supported by a family liaison officer.”

Det Supt Bevan renewed an appeal for information regarding Mr Bridger’s movements.

He said: “While this is a significant development in the investigation, I once again appeal to the public for information which may help us find April.

“We are looking to trace the movements of Mark Bridger between 6.30pm on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday and any sightings of him between these times.

“We also need information regarding the movements of the blue Land Rover Discovery, registration L503 MEP, between these times.”

Another key area of the investigation has been the river Dyfi - which today saw the deployment of a small sonar vessel.

It is able to locate objects underwater and was seen skimming along waters two miles to the north of Machynlleth earlier today.

Teams of sniffer-dogs, RNLI crews and mountain rescue experts have also been carrying out searches.

Police have ruled out a role for members of the public - who had previously helped in the early stages of April’s disappearance after the announcement that Mr Bridger is now being held on suspicion of murder.

Another key location has been a farmhouse in the small village of Ceinws, where Mr Bridger is believed to have moved to live around six weeks ago.

PA

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