April Jones: Police to complete search next month

April Jones went missing from her home in Machynlleth last October

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The search for missing five-year-old April Jones is expected to end in a few weeks, says Dyfed-Powys Police.

Officers from around the UK have been searching for the five year old since she disappeared from near her home in Machynlleth, Powys, in October.

Searches of specific areas of land will continue but they are expected to be completed at the end of next month.

Mark Bridger, 47, denies abducting and murdering April as well as intending to pervert the course of justice.

He is due to stand trial at Mold Crown Court on 29 April.

April's disappearance sparked one of the largest police searches in UK history.

Start Quote

The force made a commitment to search until all viable lines of enquiry were complete”

End Quote Dyfed-Powys Police statement

Since last October, specialist officers along with other forces from across the UK had been searching the area in and around Machynlleth for April Jones.

'Extremely challenging'

It said there have been 17 search teams hunting for the school girl on a weekly basis.

In a statement Dyfed-Powys Police said: "It has been a massive search operation where an area of 60 kilometres square has been searched including and have over 300 specific search areas.

"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.

"The force made a commitment to search until all viable lines of enquiry were complete."

Officers confirmed the search would stop over Easter but that during the rest of April they would search "specific areas of land with a view to all search areas identified being completed by the end of April".

Throughout the search a range of resources had been used from police marine units, experts in searching confined spaces and mines, fire and rescue urban search and rescue teams, the coastguard and mountain rescue teams, and as specialist dogs teams from around the UK.

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