UK & World News
Missing April: Rain Hampers Search For Girl
Bad weather is hampering the search for April Jones this morning - as it emerged the five-year-old has cerebral palsy.
The mayor of Machynlleth, Gareth Jones, said rain in Wales was making it more difficult for rescuers, focusing on 20 sites in the area.
A press conference will be held at 11am and is expected to reveal more details of the investigation, Dyfed Powys police have confirmed.
April's godmother Mair Raftree, 41, said that the little girl has cerebral palsy and will be in desperate need of her medication.
"This is the third day April is away from her home and she is only little. She needs medication for her health problems and without it she will be in pain," she told the Daily Mail.
"She has been in hospital a few times for her condition and with the cerebral palsy her legs just give way. I am so scared for her and I desperately want her home."
Ms Raftree, a childminder from Aberystwyth, said April has also spent time in hospital because of her irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The girl needs to take a regular dose of painkillers for the stomach disorder.
April vanished near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, mid Wales, at around 7pm on Monday.
Detectives are continuing to question abduction suspect Mark Bridger after they were granted a 12-hour custody extension last night.
The former soldier, 46, was arrested by officers on Tuesday.
Mr Bridger has been interviewed on at least two occasions and police will have to decide whether to apply to a court for a warrant of further detention.
His custody time limit expires later this morning.
He was picked up by officers while on foot - with police later confirming he was wearing camouflage-style clothing.
His blue L Reg Land Rover had been retrieved from a repair garage in Machynlleth.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the former soldier or his car, registration number L503 MEP, to come forward.
Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan said officers had received more than 400 messages from the public since their earlier appeal to find her.
Overnight, specialist teams continued to seach areas around the Dyfi River.
Chris Lloyd from the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Association told Sky News: "It's quite difficult working at night but it has its advantages.
"You don't have a glare on the top of the river. You can actually shine torches through the water."
He added: "The water level is falling but there are some places we haven't been able to search because of the intensity of the flow."
The team's search took them yards below a cottage in the hamlet of Ceinws which was being rented by Mr Bridger.
The 20 search scenes include houses, outbuildings, countryside and riverbanks around Machynlleth.
Officers are using a hovercraft to search marshland near the estuary.
Superintendent Ian John said the hunt was "continuing to grow and grow at quite a pace" and included officers from across the UK.
Some 100 mountain rescue volunteers, 100 police-trained search officers, 20 dog handlers, two boats from the RNLI, a team of kayakers, and the force's marine unit are taking part in the operation, he added.
He described it as an "unprecedented search in the UK".
Earlier, April's mother made an emotional appeal for help in finding her daughter.
Coral Jones, who was accompanied by her stepfather Dai Smith, sobbed as she said: "It's been 36 hours since April was taken from us.
"There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her.
"We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old. Please, please, help find her."
After her plea, she broke down in tears, holding her head in her hands, and was comforted by Mr Smith as Det Supt Bevan made a further appeal for information.
He said: "We are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry and Mark Bridger is one of them.
"Do not assume somebody else has already contacted us with information. Even if you feel yours is trivial, it may be the vital piece that we are missing."
Meanwhile, the suspect's son Scott Williams told Sky News of his shock at hearing his father had been arrested.
The 19-year-old said his father had little to do with him or his mother Julie, but added he had "never done anything to anyone".
Anyone with information relating to the case is asked to call Child Rescue Alert Line on 0300 2000 333.
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what do you think?
I'm sorry, but what on earth possesses anyone to let a 5 year old out to play with no adult supervising?! This was not the safety of their own garden, this was outside in public at 7pm! Poor child is having to pay for her parent's bad judgement
Your anger is misdirected ! Why is a child of 5 not safe in the streets. Because we live in an over liberalised society. Makes things so that no-one dare touch them for fear of the world falling in on them.
@edgar... I understand that we should be able to let out kids play outside and live in a world where this should never happen, but on the others and a girl of 5 who would be at school by now should not be playing on the streets at 7pm at night, as society know unfortunately the streets are not safe, so I have a BIG blame pointed at the parents for their stupidity! No doubt it was probably to get some peace and quite but now untimately they are paying the top price for it! On other hands I pray she is safe and well, but it's not looking good!
Im guessing your not a parent yourself or you would show compassion for what they are going through. You cant watch your children 24-7 its hard maybe you should put your negative, insulting comments to the person who has taken her ! !
Im a parent of 2 5 year old kids and I wouldn't let my kids play on the streets at that time. I agree with Craig and Sarah. Are u a parent urself Kelly?!?
Just to point out that she comes from a small community in Wales where generally neighbours are neighbours. The little girl was with friends so its likely this was a common set up for them to all play together where all neighbours could watch. Also she got into the van willingly so it's very likely she knows her kidnapper. I grew up in a village in Wales which is close to the area she lives and I can see how the parents could have fallen into the trap that she would be safe to play in the community. So give them a break ye? I'm sure they blame themselves enough anyway.
she lives in a small welsh village, like i do. if you live in a big town or city, you.wouldnt understand. everyone knows everyone. please stop having a go at the parents you perfect people
My sister lives in a little village in devon and I'm constantly shocked how villagers are so cut off from the real world, all i ever get from them is "don't be stupid, things like that don't happen down here" well wake up village people, it happens all over the place, why take the risk with your children.
A child was nearly abducted there last week aswell,that should be enough to make any parent more vigilant
I totally agree with sarah. I would never let my child when she is 5 play out with friends at 7pm. And you can not say oh we live in a little village things like.that do not.happen here as they clearly do. I hope and pray she is found safe and well
Must be nice being SOOOOOOOOOOO perfect in every aspect of your life that when a 5 year old baby child is taken away from another person all you can think of is to judge them. Simply despicable.
Totally agree with you. Quite sickening reading negative comments. The parents are going through enough pain!
The parents wouldn't be going through any pain if they had common bloody sense
whats wrong with you.people, give it a rest blaming the parents.hate holier than thou people.
You know wants wrong Andrea, we're all fed up of parents not giving a s*** until its too late and its the poor children who pay for it.
Sh:t parenting is def a problem in this country. Being a victim of a (thankfully rare) evil twisted individual doesn't make u a sh:t parent.
how can you say that steve, of course they care. Have you got children? you cant watch them every minute. if you have children you would understand this. we know it was late the night she was taken,there you go, just stop and give some compassion for goodness sake.
Yes thanks Andrea i do have kids, 12 & 11 and they don't play out in the street when its dark, obviously you do things differently but i can assure you the moment my 1st child was born the whole world became a dangerous place, hopefully they find the little girl alive and well but this wouldn't have if the parents were more vigilant.
Oh come on guys. I'm sure Aprils parents are thinking "but what if" ? All these negative comments just adds to more misery and suffering! They're going through hell! They need good wishes and support.
Sorry to say but I agree with Sarah Williams. Yes it's awful it's happened and hopefully she's found safe and well, but why was she allowed to be outside at that age at that time.
I am a parent of a 5 and 2 yr old and no i dont let them out of my sight and wouldnt let them go out at all but is that enough to stop someone who is determined to take children
No it's not but it hugely reduces chances of it happening.
kelly is very true. if someone wants to take kids they will always find an evil way of doing so.
I agree that perverts will find a way to get at kids if they want . the unfortunate truth is that there are many twisted ppl in the world we live in. We as parents have to protect our children.
The chance of a child being abducted, killed or injured in a road accident or other type of calamity is absolutely minimal. You can also "kill" a child by over-protection.
Nobody has said be over protective, just saying use common sense. And as we have seen in the news over the past year or so, it's not so minimal anymore, it's becoming a regular occurrence.
the longer this goes on they are becoming unlikely of finding the five year old alive.
Probably wouldnt have mattered what time poor April was playing out-the sicko who took her would probably have been as happy snatching her anywhere especially if the sicko was targeting her. Cases of kids getting approached on way to and from school.
they live in a community of 2,000 people, its obvious its a trust worthy place. to look at the negatives and mistakes of parents right now is very insensitive.
My sympathy is with the parents. You show me a parent who says they watched their children,every second of every day from birth to 16yrs old and I'll show you an insecure child and a paranoid parent. You do your best but at times, you have to trust. As bad as this situation is, thousands of children play out every day and safely return home. And yes, I have two grown up children and worry about them every day. Even now. Should we ban play, 'just incase'?
my sympathy is with April.
You trust them out alone around 9 or 10, not 5yrs old. and i speak from experience having 5 of my own
Now in the last child abduction a few week ago turned out to be the Grandmothers boy friend - and most turn out to be a friend of the family or relation if the child got into the van willingly was it friend or family ?
Paul Anthony Croft
Please, if there is a good God, let her be found safe and well. Pray he has just locked her in somewhere, and not what we all fear.
I have to admit that my first thought was 'why on earth did her parents let her out so late at such a young age?' but seeing the heartbreaking appeal made earlier by April's Mother it is without doubt that she must also have regrets. We work so hard to keep our children safe and out of harms way. It must be devastating to be in such a devastating position. I remain hopeful she will be found safe and unharmed and back in her parent's embrace.
ANY child crime should be followed by the death penalty.These animals need a stronger deterent to make them think twice.Am really praying this little girl is returned safe.
I hope the police have searched the suspects house
Why was this not mentioned before this
Meant to say ceribal paulsey
so the wee girl could be missing on her own account , nothing to do with Bridger , maybe he might turn out the hero in this if the girl was having an episode ???????? thats cerebral palsy btw
the plot thickens
if the man the police have arrested is the person who has taken april then the poor little girl is alone for the second night with no food or water. have the police not thought about this? it doesn't bear thinking about. also if this man is innocent, him and his family will never recover from these allagations. i pray to god the poor little bairn is found safe and well.
Me and my 3 boys thoughts and prays go out to the friends and family and everyone out there looking to bring baby April home please let there be some good left in the world and she be return safe and well
If this b****** is still in police custody then surely he knows where this child is.The cops dont hold someone for this length of time without good cause.
I have an 11yr old daughter. It wasn't till she was 7 tht she was allowed out to play in the streets - and tht was a v.small area outside our home (where I constantly watched her). She now has obviously more freedom but still has to be in by 7pm. Surely a 5yr old wld either be getting ready for bed or in bed at 7pm! Especially if she's at school!.....even still I do hope that this situation turns out to be a happy ending truely I do especially as some1 who has had to cope with the death of a child...