Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Family plea for April's safe return

April Jones, five, went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on Monday evening (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)
April Jones in the coat she was wearing when she was abducted (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)
Hundreds of local residents are searching for April Jones who went missing in mid-Wales (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)

The family of missing five-year-old April Jones who has been abducted from her home town said their lives have been "shattered" and pleaded for her safe return.

April was last seen getting into a van in Machynlleth in mid Wales on Monday evening and a 46-year-old man, named by sources as Mark Bridger, was arrested on suspicion of her abduction.

In a statement, read out by Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan of Dyfed Powys police, April's family said: "Last night our lives were shattered when our beautiful little girl April who was playing with friends was taken from us. We are devastated and our lives have stopped. Please, please if you have our little girl, let her come home to us."

The statement went on: "This is such a small, close-knit community and we plead with anyone who has any information, no matter how small they may think it is, to contact the police immediately. Please help us bring home our beautiful little girl."

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Bevan said detectives were "following various lines of inquiry".

He told the media: "We are continuing the investigation into the abduction of five-year-old April Jones from Machynlleth. As you are aware, an arrest was made earlier today at approximately 3.30pm of a 46-year-old local man on suspicion of abduction. He remains in police custody at Aberystwyth Police Station and we will be interviewing him this evening.

"April was abducted at around 7pm on Monday night from Brynygog estate in Machynlleth. We are still following various lines of inquiry with the priority to find April.

"This is a criminal investigation and we are not able to comment on any speculation or rumour which could jeopardise the integrity of the investigation, but we will still provide specially trained family liaison officers to support the family and in fact there are senior officers with them at this moment."

Mr Bevan said police had recovered one vehicle, which belongs to the man in custody. "At this stage that is similar to the description given by the children." The car is a mid-90s Land Rover Discover, L-registration with left-hand drive.

Mr John said the next press conference will be held not before 7.30am with any significant developments to be communicated to media throughout the night.

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