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April Jones: Mark Bridger in court on murder charge

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

  • Mark Bridger, 46, is to appear in court charged with the murder of April Jones

  • April was last seen playing near her home one week ago

  • Police say they remain committed to finding five-year-old April

A former lifeguard is to appear in court charged with the murder of five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen playing near her home in Machynlleth, Powys.

Mark Bridger will today appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court charged with murder, abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The 46-year-old was on Tuesday arrested on suspicion of abduction, and on Friday Dyfed Powys Police announced they had arrested him on suspicion of murder.

On Saturday Bridger was charged with the murder of five-year-old April, who went missing on Monday October 1.

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Over the weekend police said they remained "focused and committed" to finding April.

Hundreds of officers, mountain rescue workers and dog handlers have been involved in the search operation, which has covered acres of woodland, forests and mountains in and around Machynlleth.

Police are concentrating their efforts on the town and the River Dyfi.

On Sunday around 600 people took part in a silent procession from near April's home through the town to the local church, where a special service was attended by 1,000 people, BBC News reports.

Yesterday April's mother Coral Jones posted a message on social networking site Facebook: "April has still not been found, I am not giving up hope that she will come home, so please please keep looking for my baby girl April.

"She's our world the whole family are in bits as we don't know where she is".

UPDATE 1020: Mark Bridger wept as he appeared in court today, charged with the murder of April Jones.

He has also been charged with child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The latter charge refers to the unlawful disposal and concealment of a body.

The 46-year-old stood in the dock of Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court as the charges were put to him.

Bridger cried as he spoke to confirm his name, age and address.

He answered "correct" to confirm his date of birth was 6 November, 1965, and said the same for his Mount Pleasant farmhouse address at the village of Ceinws, BBC News reports.

He appeared on the verge of tears throughout the hearing, which lasted around four minutes.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday October 10.

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