Search for April to end next month
The search for the body of missing April Jones will finish next month after an exhaustive six month hunt finally proved fruitless.
What is believed to be the biggest concerted police search operation ever mounted in the UK looks certain to conclude without success.
April Jones, five, disappeared from the housing estate where she lived in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on October 1.
Since then a relentlessly methodical examination of thousands of acres of rugged terrain around the town has continued unabated. Bad weather has forced an array of specialist search teams to cancel the on-going search operation this week.
Search teams totalling more than 130 people are due to rest over the Easter break as the six month anniversary of April's abduction approaches.
Now Dyfed Powys Police have announced that the search operation will be concluded by the end of April.
A "reactive team" of search officers will remain on duty ready to respond to any new information which may come to light.
More than 60 square kilometres of terrain, taking in 300 separate locations, has been searched during the six month operation.
"The terrain is extremely challenging. The mountains, gorges, streams and waterfalls in the area mean extra care has to be taken and specialist safety equipment has to be worn," a Dyfed Powys Police spokesman said.
Local man Mark Bridger, 47, was arrested the day after April's abduction. He was later charged with abduction and murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He is scheduled to stand trial at Mold Crown Court on April 29.