UK & World News
April Jones' Parents Plan Funeral A Year On
The parents of April Jones are planning a funeral for the five-year-old a year after she went missing in the hope an inquest will finally enable them to have some closure.
April was kidnapped by 47-year-old Mark Bridger outside her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 1 last year. Bridger is serving a life sentence for her murder.
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.
However, fragments of a child's skull were found in the ashes of Bridger's fireplace at his home in Ceinws following his arrest, his trial heard.
It is hoped the opening of April's inquest on Monday will result in an interim death certificate being issued which will allow her parents to lay her to rest.
It is believed their daughter's remains will be placed in a pink coffin to be taken through her hometown on a horse-drawn carriage.
"They are all we have," her mother Coral said.
"We can now finally lay April to rest. Our hell this past year has been made worse because we did not have April's body."
Mourners have reportedly been asked to wear pink, which was April's favourite colour. It also became a symbol of hope in the wake of her disappearance with scores of pink ribbons being put up by residents.
Hundreds of people are expected to turn up to say their farewells to the little girl, with a possible venue being St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.
Local councillor Michael Williams said a funeral was the "right and proper" thing to happen.
"I don't think it will be a final goodbye but it will be another step in remembering all the wonderful times that the family had together," he said.
"It will bring people together again in one place to remember the life of a little child that was taken so savagely from the family and community."
Father-of-six Bridger is only the 37th person to be given a whole-life tariff, which means he will die in prison.