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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Man charged with missing April's murder

* April Jones.
Mark Bridger has this afternoon (Saturday) been charged with the murder of five-year-old April Jones who has been mising from her home in Machynlleth since Monday.

And police confirmed that the search for her continues.

A statement from Iwan Jenkins, District Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service Cymru-Wales said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been in close contact with Dyfed Powys Police as their extensive investigation into April’s disappearance has developed.

"In particular, we have been offering advice and guidance to the police since the suspect Mark Bridger was arrested last Tuesday.

“My role is to examine the evidence that is currently available and advise the police in respect of charges.

“I now have to advise that, having carried out a detailed review of the evidence gathered so far by Dyfed Powys Police, my conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with the murder of April Jones, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

“I have also concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with attempting to pervert the course of justice and child abduction.

“Accordingly, I have authorised Dyfed Powys Police to charge him with these offences and he will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.

“I realise that this is an incredibly difficult time for April’s family, friends and the community. My thoughts are with them – and indeed with all those affected by this week’s events.

“The huge public and media interest in this case is understandable. I would just like to stress that, whilst Mark Bridger stands accused of serious criminal charges, he retains the right to a fair trial. I would therefore ask that nothing is placed in the public domain that may undermine the criminal justice process.”

A separate statement from Dyfed Powys Chief Constable Jackie Roberts said: "Our thoughts are very much with April’s family, friends and those who know her today.

"The last few days has seen us deal with one of the most complex and fast moving enquiries in the history of our Force and one our communities have never had to face before. It has been marked by the coming together of people from across the country with one aim in mind, to return April to her family.

"The community of Machynlleth and the surrounding areas turned out in force using social networks to get the message out and appeal for April’s safe return. To see so many people give up their time freely was truly humbling for everyone involved.

"I would like to pay tribute to the tremendous effort that has gone into trying to find April Jones this week. I have spent time with the family, and they are overwhelmed with the number of people who wanted to help in any way they possibly could.

"The search teams have faced an enormous challenge with the hostile terrain, the adverse weather and the logistics of searching such a beautiful but remote landscape. Everyone was working toward the same goal – to find April safe and well and reunite her with her family.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the volunteers from the community and those who have worked and provided support behind the scenes, the agencies who have taken part, expert advisers, all of my staff and staff from forces all over the UK, there are far too many to mention here today. Finally my thanks to you, the media for the way you have supported this inquiry.

"People have worked around the clock to search for April, to investigate the crime and to keep her disappearance in the public eye.

"Now that Mark Bridger has been charged with this horrific crime it is time to let the judicial process take its course and time to let the family come to terms with what has happened over the last week. In the meantime our efforts to find April will be as meticulous as they have been from the outset of this enquiry until we have exhausted all available options."

A statement from Superintendent Ian John, who has been leading the hunt for April, said: "I can now give you a brief update on the search operation which continues in Machynlleth.

"This morning, we have deployed 10 specialist police teams who are conducting a systematic and methodical search in and around the town.

"We continue to have the support of a whole range of search and rescue teams who are using specialist equipment as we continue our efforts.

"We will be keeping April’s family fully updated on progress of the investigation.

"Despite today’s announcement we are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain totally focused and committed to finding April."

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