Welsh police given more time to question suspect in missing girl case

Wednesday 03 October 2012 22.56
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April Jones was abducted on Monday evening
April Jones was abducted on Monday evening
Coral Jones, mother of April, makes an emotional plea to anyone with information to contact the police
Coral Jones, mother of April, makes an emotional plea to anyone with information to contact the police
Police have appealed for information on this Land Rover Discovery
Police have appealed for information on this Land Rover Discovery
Mark Bridger, who is known to April's parents, is in police custody
Mark Bridger, who is known to April's parents, is in police custody
Coral Jones with April's step grandfather made a public appeal at a press conference
Coral Jones with April's step grandfather made a public appeal at a press conference
Police have asked the public to leave today's search to trained search teams
Police have asked the public to leave today's search to trained search teams

Detectives in Wales were tonight given an extra 12 hours to question the man arrested over the disappearance of five-year-old April Jones.

The 46-year-old has been interviewed by detectives twice since his arrest yesterday afternoon.

Despite a plea from April's mother, Coral Jones, and an extensive search of Powys's rugged terrain, no trace has been found of the youngster since she went missing from the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth two days ago.

Dyfed Powys Police confirmed tonight that April has cerebral palsy.

In an emotional press conference earlier today, the girl's mother begged for any information that may lead to her daughter being found.

She said: "It's been 36 hours since April was taken from us.

"There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her. We are desperate for any news.

"April is only five years old. Please, please, help find her."

Dyfed Powys Police have taken the unusual step of confirming the identity of the arrested man as Mark Bridger, as they released pictures of him and his Land Rover Discovery.

They have appealed for anyone who may have seen the 46-year-old or the vehicle to contact them.

Mr Bridger is known to Coral Jones and April’s father Paul.

She was abducted near her home in Machynlleth on Monday evening and hundreds of people had joined the search to find her.

Police are now expecting intelligence arising from interviews with Mr Bridger to drive the search operation.

Superintendent Ian John of Dyfed Powys Police said police and a mountain rescue team had carried out "systematic and methodical" searches around Machynlleth throughout last night.

He also warned of the challenging conditions facing search and rescue teams.

Mr John said: "I need people to know it is a rural environment, very challenging conditions out there. The weather yesterday wasn't great and I don't think the forecast is very good for today.

"The River Dyfi is in flood and we really do need to manage the risk of everybody there, not only the police officers, the mountain rescue team, but we are extremely concerned about large numbers of members of the public going into what I have said are very challenging conditions.

"So what I am asking really is, notwithstanding the great support and the commitment that people want to show in helping us to find April, can we please leave this now to the trained and skilled people that we have."