April Jones: Hunt map and timeline for missing Machynlleth girl
- 9 October 2012
- From the section Wales
Monday 1 October
19:00 BST: April Jones is playing on her bike with friends near her home on the Bryn-Y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, Powys, when she goes missing. According to children, she is taken away in a van or a four-wheel drive vehicle and there are no apparent signs of a struggle.
22:30: Dyfed-Powys Police issue a statement saying they are "increasingly concerned" for April. Hundreds of local volunteers gather to join the search after the news spreads on Twitter and Facebook.
Tuesday 2 October
08:30:Police reveal more information about the circumstances of April's disappearance and say she was last seen wearing a purple coat and her school polo top. Refuse collection is suspended as workers join the hunt.
11:40: Shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith tells the Labour conference: "We all hope and pray that she is back in her community and with her family as soon as is humanly possible."
12:00: Det Supt Reg Bevan, from Dyfed-Powys Police, says it appears April got into the vehicle willingly. Officers are tackling the "delicate and time-consuming" task of speaking to April's friends. He also raises the possibility that the vehicle could be left-hand drive, as it appeared that April had got into the driver's side.
The town, with a population of 2,100, is inundated with volunteers, some travelling from south Wales and the north of England. Police say they want to make sure that search volunteers are used in a coordinated way.
15:30: A 46-year-old man is arrested in connection with April's abduction.
16:30: Police give details of the arrest, saying he was detained while walking along the side of the road a couple of miles outside Machynlleth. He lives locally and has a vehicle similar to the one described by witnesses who saw April's abduction. The vehicle has been recovered and the police's priority is finding April alive.
18:00: A special vigil service is held at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth where prayers are said and candles lit for the safe return of the five-year-old.
19:45: It emerges that the man arrested over the abduction of April is known to her family. He is named locally as Mark Bridger, 46.
21.30: April's family release a statement through police, saying their lives have been shattered.
"We are devastated and our lives have stopped," they say. "Please, please if you have our little girl, let her come home to us."
Wednesday 3 October
07:30: Police say the overnight search, involving 40 trained police officers, dog handlers and mountain rescue teams, yielded no news on April's whereabouts. The public are thanked for their efforts but warned of the "challenging conditions". People are asked to leave the search to "members of our trained and skilled teams".
10:30: A photograph of Mark Bridger is released and police confirm his identity to "end speculation". They also release a photograph of his Land Rover Discovery, which was seized from a repair garage in Machynlleth.
12:30: April's mother Coral Jones makes an emotional plea for any information that will help in the search.
"We are desperate for any news," she says. "April is only five years old - please, please help find her."
17:30: Police reveal the operation has been unprecedented in the UK, in terms of scale and terrain. Neighbouring forces and specialist teams are helping with a focus on over 20 scenes around Machynlleth.
The operation has led to 600 messages from the public to police, and the search involves 100 mountain rescue volunteers, 100 police specialist searchers, as well as coastguards and RNLI.
It is confirmed that April has cerebral palsy and needs medication.
18:00: Another vigil at St Peter's Church is held. The Right Reverend Andy John, the bishop of Bangor, said people "all over the country are now praying for April's safe return".
Thursday 4 October
10:00: Volunteers gather for searches of 15 villages within a 10 to 15 mile radius of Machynlleth. Around 450 responded to a call from local search coordinators for people with "good local knowledge" to search farmland and outbuildings.
11:00: Police renew their appeal over suspect Mark Bridger's movements, as they are given more time to question him.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was every family's nightmare. He urges anyone with information to speak to police, as does Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.
17:30: Police say they received more than 2,500 calls in response to their latest appeal for information.
They search a small farmhouse in the nearby village of Ceinws where Mr Bridger was known to be living most recently.
The town of Machynlleth is covered with pink ribbons in response to April's mother's appeal for people to wear her daughter's favourite colour.
Friday 5 October
05:30: Search teams begin gathering again at Machynlleth as light dawns. Police have until 17:00 to charge or release Mark Bridger, although they can apply for a further 24 hours warrant of detention.
10:30: Police tell a press conference that Mr Bridger, who has been held for the past three days over April's disappearance, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Det Supt Reg Bevan said the development would not detract from efforts to find April.
Supt Ian John said police now required only professionals to be involved in the ongoing search for April around Machynlleth.
15:30: Mark Bridger appears in court in Aberystwyth, where police are given another 24 hours to question him.
Police announce they are suspending night-time searches.
Saturday 6 October
The search resumes at first light.
Community leaders reflect on a change in mood but say people are "clinging to hope" April can still be found alive.
16:00 Dyfed Powys Police announce Mark Bridger has been charged with murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice.
Sunday 7 October
Hundreds take part in a procession and church service for April. The Reverend Kathleen Rogers opened the service by saying that the community and searchers could not bring "sweet and innocent April home as we had hoped".
Monday 8 October
09:40 Mark Bridger appears at Aberystwyth magistrate charged with the murder of April Jones, child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice - the latter charge refers to the unlawful disposal and concealment of a body. He is remanded in custody and will be held in prison in Manchester. He is due to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court via video link on Wednesday.
About 100 police officers continue to search for missing April.
19:00 April's parents release a sky lantern from the garden of their home exactly a week after their daughter was last seen. Residents also light lanterns, candles and released pink balloons to remember the missing girl.
Road blocks are put in place as police question motorists travelling through Machynlleth.