Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Search for missing April called off

April Jones was last seen on October 1 last year while out playing near her home in the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth (Dyfed Powys Police/PA)

The search for missing schoolgirl April Jones has been officially called off, police have said.

The five-year old was last seen playing on her bike on Machynlleth's Bryn-y-Gog estate, where she lived, on the evening of October 1 last year.

Her disappearance sparked an outpouring of support for April's parents, with hundreds of people joining the search for their daughter and offering assistance.

Dyfed Powys Police announced that the exhaustive search operation had drawn to a close.

Less than a week after she vanished, detectives charged 47-year-old local man Mark Bridger with child abduction, perverting the course of justice and murder. He is due to stand trial next week at Mold Crown Court.

Although officers had given hope of finding the youngster alive, specialist teams continued to search the sprawling countryside close around her hometown.

But last week, April's parents Coral and Paul were delivered the heartbreaking news that they may never get to say goodbye to their little girl.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "Since the beginning of October specialist officers from Dyfed-Powys Police along with other forces from across the UK have been searching the area in and around Machynlleth for five-year-old April Jones.

"The search areas identified during the course of the investigation were completed on Friday April 19.

"In addition, a reactive team of specialist officers are available to respond to any new information that is received."

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