APRIL: MAN HELD IN POLICE SWOOP
A MAN was arrested as the search for missing five-yearold April Jones intensified.
The 46-year-old was held following a desperate appeal for the public’s help by the police officer leading the hunt.
April “willingly” got into a van with a stranger in Machynlleth, Wales, on Monday evening – sparking a huge search involving police and residents.
Det Supt Reg Bevan of Dyfed Powys Police said the man was arrested in the area and was being questioned in Aberystwyth.
He said police were “hopeful that this individual will assist us in locating April, who is still missing”, adding: “All lines of enquiry are continuing with the view that April is still alive.”
Her distressed parents Coral, 40, and Paul, 43, who were “beside themselves with worry”, were yesterday being comforted by officers.
Detectives said that they were becoming “increasingly concerned” for the girl, who disappeared in the grey or light-coloured vehicle at around 7pm.
Roadblocks were set up and a 25-mile radius search was launched, while officers spoke to April’s friend – the only witness to the abduction.
Volunteers from the local community pulled together in their hundreds to help with a mass police-organised search, with groups for different areas of 20 people led by an expert.
Reports said those taking part were told not to pick up any piece of child’s clothing they discovered in case it yielded key forensic clues.
Det Supt Bevan of said detectives were also interviewing April’s other friends, in what he called a “delicate process”.
A neighbour said: “She is the apple of her parents’ eyes – in Welsh we call her ‘cariad bach’, a little darling. They are lovely people.”
A long stretch of the A487 from Machynlleth northwards was closed off yesterday in both directions as part of the investigation, police said.
The Traffic Wales website said the area around the Dyfi bridge would be closed “until further notice”.
Of the arrested man, Det Supt Bevan said: “We knew who we were looking for. We’ve been anxious to trace him and speak to him.”
MISSING: April got into van around 7pm on Monday
HUNT: Locals join in search for girl