UK & World News
April Jones: Funeral Plans After Inquest Ends
The parents of murdered schoolgirl April Jones can plan their daughter's funeral after an inquest allowed them to officially register her death.
The five-year-old was snatched outside her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, last October before being murdered by 47-year-old Mark Bridger.
Despite police launching one of their biggest-ever search operations, April's body has never been found.
Bridger has repeatedly claimed he cannot remember what he did with her body.
But detectives found 17 fragments of her skull in Bridger's fireplace, leading them to conclude "on the balance of probabilities" that April died at his remote home in Ceinws on the day she was abducted.
Attending the 10-minute hearing in Powys County Council's Welshpool offices were April's mother Coral and father Paul, who were flanked by police family liaison officers.
They listened intently as the Detective Superintendent Andy John read a brief outline of the circumstances surrounding April's death.
Powys Coroner Louise Hunt said she hoped the conclusion of April's inquest - which now paves the way for her funeral arrangements to begin - would be a small comfort to the Jones family.
"I want to extend my sympathies for your terrible loss," she said.
"There will be no further formal proceedings and I hope the coming to an end of them will give you time to allow you to deal with your grief."
Bridger was ordered to serve a whole-life term for April's murder.