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Mark Bridger charged over April Jones murder

Former lifeguard Mark Bridger, 46, has been charged with the abduction and murder of missing mid Wales schoolgirl April Jones and perverting the course of justice, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

Iwan Jenkins, the district crown prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wales, said: "I now have to advise that, having carried out a detailed review of the evidence gathered so far by Dyfed-Powys Police, my conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with the murder of April Jones, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

"I have also concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with attempting to pervert the course of justice and child abduction."

He said he will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court on Monday morning.

Chief Constable Jackie Roberts said in a press conference in Aberystwyth the investigation was "one of the most complex and fast moving inquiries in the history of our force".

She said: "Now that Mark Bridger has been charged with this horrific crime it is time to let the judicial process take its course and time to let the family come to terms with what has happened over the last week.

"In the meantime our efforts to find April will be as meticulous as they have been from the outset of this inquiry until we have exhausted all available options."

Meanwhile the hunt for missing April resumed after searchers were stood down overnight due to atrocious weather.

The decision offered search teams the chance to recharge their batteries.

The five-year-old went missing from the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on Monday evening.

She was seen to willingly get into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery.

Mark Bridger, 46, a local man known to April's family, was arrested on suspicion of abduction on Tuesday afternoon.

His Land Rover Discovery was also seized by police and is undergoing forensic examination.

On Friday police announced Mr Bridger had been arrested on suspicion of murder, indicating they no longer expect to find April alive.

Emergency services including the Coastguard, RNLI, RAF mountain rescue and 150 members of mountain rescue teams from across the UK have been searching continuously since April vanished.

They are liaising with more than 60 specially trained search officers.

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