April mourners asked to wear pink
A funeral for murdered schoolgirl April Jones will finally take place this week just days before the first anniversary of her abduction.
Hundreds are expected to attend the emotional farewell service on Thursday in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth, where the five-year-old lived.
Mourners are being asked to wear pink, April's favourite colour, or bright clothing, in memory of the schoolgirl.
Thousands wore pink ribbons in the days after she was snatched from outside her home to show solidarity with her family.
A horse-drawn hearse carrying the coffin will leave from the Bryn-y-Gog housing estate where she was last seen alive. The cortege will set out for St Peter's Church, where the service takes place, followed by parents Coral and Paul Jones in cars. Hundreds of mourners are expected to follow on foot in slow procession in its wake.
Reverend Kathleen Rogers will conduct the funeral service at noon before hundreds of mourners inside the church, with many hundreds more expected outside.
The remains of April Jones amount to just 17 tiny pieces of bone, fragments of the schoolgirl's skull, recovered by police.
April was snatched from the friendly close-knit estate on October 1 last year while playing out late as a reward for doing well at school. Paedophile Mark Bridger, 47, was convicted of abducting and murdering her following a trial at Mold Crown Court, north Wales, earlier this year. The former lifeguard was given a full life sentence and locked away still claiming he had no memory of what he had done with April's body.
The bone fragments, which were used as prosecution evidence in Bridger's trial, were gathered by police from the fireplace at a cottage Bridger was renting in the tiny village of Ceinws, a few miles from his victim's home.
The belated funeral, held five days before the first anniversary of April's abduction, was made possible by the inquest into her death held last Monday.