Welsh police given more time to question murder suspect

Friday 05 October 2012 22.00
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April Jones's family has been informed of the latest development
April Jones's family has been informed of the latest development
Police are appealing for information on Mark Bridger's movements
Police are appealing for information on Mark Bridger's movements
Searches are continuing in Wales, but they are now looking for a body
Searches are continuing in Wales, but they are now looking for a body
Pink ribbons of hope were distributed in the ongoing search for April Jones
Pink ribbons of hope were distributed in the ongoing search for April Jones

Welsh police have been given extra time to question Mark Bridger, who 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, however detectives made the announcement today that he was being held on suspicion of the schoolgirl's murder.

Mr Bridger was driven to Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court, 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.

Searches are continuing in Machynlleth but police are now looking for a body.

April's family has been informed of the development and continue to be supported by a family liaison officer.

The girl was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lived at 7pm on Monday.

Searches have taken place all week and police have praised the hundreds of volunteers, saying they have been an "inspiration to us all".

However, following this morning's development, volunteers have been asked to withdraw from the search.

Police say they are still appealing to the public for information.

In particular, they are looking to trace Mr Bridger's movements between 6.30pm on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday and any sightings of him between these times.

Information regarding the movements of the blue Land Rover Discovery, registration L503 MEP, between those times is also needed.

Small expert teams are searching areas of thick forest in the mountains around the town, while others are searching the area near the River Dyfi.

Meanwhile, a leading forensic psychologist is reported to be helping police in their investigation.

The Times newspaper reported that Dr Joe Sullivan, who advised British and Portuguese police in the search for Madeleine McCann, is working with the investigation team.

Dr Sullivan is an expert in the character and behaviour of child sex offenders.

Police have been overwhelmed with over 2,500 calls with information, with officers across Wales and England helping to field the calls.