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  1. ITV Report

Decision looming on April Jones murder suspect

Mark Bridger has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Photo: Dyfed Powys Police handout

Detectives investigating the abduction of April Jones have until this afternoon to charge or release murder suspect Mark Bridger.

The hunt for the missing five-year old started again at first light after it was temporarily halted overnight so search teams who have been tirelessly combing the area around the Mid Wales town of Machynlleth could rest, according to reports.

Police were last night granted a final 24 hours to question former leisure centre worker Mr Bridger and must now make a decision on whether he will be charged over the schoolgirl's disappearance or set free.

The extension came after investigators revealed they had arrested the 46-year-old on suspicion of murdering April. He had initially being held on suspicion of abduction the day after the child vanished.

Five-year-old April Jones was last seen on Monday. Credit: Five-year-old April Jones was last seen on Monday. Credit: Dyfed Powys Police handout

Private prayers for April were said by members of the close-knit community last night as the hopes of finding the youngster alive began to recede.

Emergency services including the Coastguard, RNLI, RAF mountain rescue and 150 members of mountain rescue teams from across the UK have been searching continuously since April vanished near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate on Monday evening. They are liaising with more than 60 specially trained search officers.

Last night - the fifth night she has been missing - was the first time the teams were instructed to temporarily call off their efforts, according to the BBC.

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