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April Jones: Mark Bridger charged with murder

By adampostans  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

A man has been charged with the abduction and murder of missing five-year-old April Jones.

Mark Bridger, who was being questioned by detectives since Tuesday, is also accused of perverting the course of justice.

He will appear before Aberystwyth magistrates on Monday morning.

Police had been given until 5pm today to either charge or release the 46-year-old.

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Dyfed Powys Police insist they will continue the search for the girl, who went missing from Machynlleth, Powys, on Monday.

She was last seen getting into a vehicle near her home at 7pm.

Iwan Jenkins, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said at a police press conference this afternoon: "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."

Dyfed Powys Police Chief Constable Jackie Roberts thanked the public, search teams and the media for their help in trying find April and said their efforts had been "truly humbling".

She said: "Today our thoughts are very much with April's family, friends and those who knew her, and the community within Machynlleth.

"The last few days have seen us deal with one of the most complex and fast-moving inquiries in the history of this 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.

"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."

She said efforts to find April would continue to be as "meticulous as they have been from the outset".

Supt Ian John added: "Despite today's announcement, we are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain focused and committed to finding April."

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