UK & World News
April Jones: Police Stop Searching River
Police looking for missing five-year-old April Jones have switched the focus of their search to a forest, the police officer in charge of the operation has said.
Superintendent Ian John, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said officers had stopped combing the river, which had previously been at the centre of the search, and were instead looking at the land around it.
He said they still had 150 officers working on finding April at any one time in a continued effort to find her, more than six weeks after she went missing.
April was last seen on October 1, getting into a vehicle after playing near her home on the Bryn y Gog estate in the town of Machynlleth, Powys.
Her disappearance sparked the biggest search operation ever undertaken by the Dyfed-Powys Police force, covering 23 square miles.
Seventeen specialist teams continue to work on the case and are investigating all lines of enquiry.
Officers and coastguards had concentrated their efforts on the River Dyfi but are now focusing on the 6,000 hectares of surrounding forest land.
Supt John said: "We've still got a number of search areas to investigate, but at the moment teams are primarily working in the Dyfi Forest.
"We are not searching the river actively now. The coastguard have stopped doing that, they have adequately searched the water as much as they can.
"Instead, it's primarily the woodland areas, the old slate quarries and the fields which are the main focus of the operation now."
Hundreds of members of the public joined in the search for April and they continue to raise money to help fund the search.
Supt John said: "I can't truly express how hard going the work is, the guys have been out there in the pouring rain day after day and still they continue.
"We are not searching weekends anymore because they officers all need to rest, but we are still working at an intensive level."
Mark Bridger, 46, a former abattoir worker, has been charged with April's murder and is due to appear in court on January 11.