April Jones abduction: Police reveal details of search

Mark Bridger and his blue Land Rover Discovery - registration L503MEP
Image caption Mark Bridger and his blue Land Rover Discovery - registration L503MEP

Police have given more details of the scale of the search for missing April Jones in mid Wales.

In the latest news conference, detectives said they were focusing on more than 20 scenes from houses, river banks, outbuildings and open areas.

Earlier Coral Jones broke down as she appealed for help tracing her daughter missing from near her home in Machynlleth since 19:00 BST on Monday.

Police have 12 extra hours to question Mark Bridger, 46, arrested on Tuesday.

Image caption April Jones was playing with friends close to her home when she was abducted

Dyfed-Powys police confirmed on Wednesday evening that a superintendent's extension had been granted for further questioning.

The force also confirmed newspaper reports that April has cerebral palsy.

April's godmother said she required daily medication without which she would be in pain.

Det Supt Reg Bevan, who is leading the inquiry, said they had received more than 400 calls from member of public since his earlier appeal for information on the whereabouts of Mark Bridger between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

"We are actively working through that information," he said.

He went on to say: "We are focusing on over 20 scenes. We have searched several of them in the Machynlleth area. These searches are continuing."

Supt Ian John added: "Dyfed-Powys is not alone. We are receiving unprecedented support from the rest of the UK."

Giving more details about the extent of the search, Supt John said: "There are a large number of sites and they're very varied in nature."

"The terrain and geography we're working in is really challenging. It's been described as a hostile environment.

"We've got a flooded river we're working around.

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Media captionDet Supt Reg Bevan: "We are focusing on over 20 scenes. We have searched several of them in the Machynlleth area"

"I also want to emphasise the variety of the search sites. They range from houses, outbuildings, open areas river banks."

He went on to say: "Over the next 24 hours we have plans for more specific search officers to search for April.

"There's no way we are scaling back our search and we remain focused until we find April.

When asked about Mr Bridger, Det Supt Bevan said: "We have interviewed Mark Bridger. He has been interviewed twice.

"Clearly our focus is to find April. That's primarily what we have been discussing with him."

Image caption Search teams have been working on the swollen River Dyfi

Det Supt Bevan went on to say: "We are clearly looking into Mark Bridger's past and that is part of the profile we are building up on him."

Earlier on Wednesday, April's mother Coral Jones broke down in tears as she appealed for information.

"It's been 36 hours since April was taken from us and there must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her," she said.

"We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old - please, please help find her."

Det Supt Bevan repeated his appeal for anyone who saw seen Mr Bridger or his blue Land Rover Discovery between 17:00 BST on Monday and 15:30 BST on Tuesday to contact police.

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Media captionGodmother Mair Raftree: "April is a loveable little girl - always smiling"

"Do you know Mark Bridger and did you see him during that period Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon?" he said.

"Do not assume somebody else has already contacted us with information. Even if you feel yours is trivial, it might be the vital piece that we need."

Det Supt Bevan had revealed that Mr Bridger was wearing a camouflage green jacket and black waterproof over trousers when he was arrested.

He showed pictures of Mr Bridger and of his blue Land Rover Discovery, registration number L503MEP, and asked for anyone who had seen it to get in touch.

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Media captionCoral Jones: "We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old"

"The Land Rover Discovery was recovered from a repair garage in the Old Station Road area of Machynlleth on Tuesday afternoon," he said.

Despite asking volunteers to stand down from the search process earlier on Wednesday, police asked some of the local volunteer search teams to rejoin the hunt for April.

An area close to where Mr Bridger was arrested on Tuesday afternoon - the A487 main road north out of Machynlleth - has now reopened after previously being closed in both directions for 12 miles.

Dyfed-Powys Police have asked anyone with information to contact a dedicated hotline on 0300 2000 333.

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