1. ITV Report

Mother makes desperate plea for information about April's whereabouts

April's mother Coral Jones making her appeal Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

April Jones' mother has made a tearful plea for information that could lead to her five-year-old daughter who was reported missing on Monday evening.

In her first public appearance, Coral Jones said: "There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help police find her.

"We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old. Please, please help find her."

Detectives were tonight given an extra 12 hours to question abduction suspect Mark Bridger about April's disappearance. The 46-year-old has been interviewed by detectives twice since his arrest on Tuesday afternoon.

Dyfed Powys Police also confirmed to ITV News today that the missing schoolgirl has cerebral palsy.

ITV News' Special Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

On Wednesday police investigating April's disappearance took the unusual step of releasing images of aMark Bridger and his car in an appeal for information.

Police image of Mark Bridger Credit: Dyfed Powys Police handout

The 46-year-old is being questioned on suspicion of abduction and has been in custody since Tuesday afternoon. His Land Rover Discovery vehicle was seized by police and samples have been sent for forensic testing.

Police want to speak to anyone who saw either Mr Bridger or his car between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon to get in contact.

Police image of Mr Bridger's vehicle Credit: Dyfed Powys Police handout

Earlier, police asked volunteers to stop searching for five-year-old April Jones who went missing from her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales on Monday evening.

I need people to know it is a rural environment, very challenging conditions out there ...

Notwithstanding the great support and the commitment that people want to show in helping us to find April, can we please leave this now to the trained and skilled people that we have.

– Supt Ian John, Dyfed Powys Police
Coast guards search a river outside Machynlleth on Tuesday Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Specialist officers including dog handlers and mountain rescue teams searched throughout the night. Police believe April is likely to be found "fairly close" to where she was last seen.

The search is focusing on dense woodland areas and the River Dyfi. Coastguard boats and a hovercraft have been brought in to help specialist teams search the estuary and river banks.

Watch aerial footage of the search operation:

Police have stressed that a number of lines of investigation remain open in the case.

Supt Ian John said that forensic samples taken from Mr Bridger's vehicle have been fast-tracked and are likely to be a "key part of the investigation".

April Jones: Missing since Monday Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

April's parents said in a statement on Tuesday night that their lives have been "shattered" by the five-year-old's disappearance and have pleaded for her safe return:

Last night our lives were shattered when our beautiful little girl April who was playing with friends was taken from us.

We are devastated and our lives have stopped. Please, please if you have our little girl, let her come home to us.

– statement by Coral and Paul Jones, October 3
Machynlleth, seen in the bottom-right, is on the edge of Snowdonia National Park is a very rural area of Wales Credit: Google Maps

April Jones was last seen around 7pm on Monday evening. She had been playing with friends near some garages close to her home on the quiet Bryn-y-gog estate in Machynlleth, Powys.

Child witnesses say April was seen getting into the driver seat of a grey van-like vehicle, which then drove off.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them by dialling 0300 2000 333.

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