Katrice Lee from Hartlepool was two when she vanished in 1981.
Her parents have always claimed that military police were slow to react to their daughter's disappearance.
Her father, Richard, says that although he welcomes the apology, he feels a public inquiry is the only way he will discover the truth.
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Gale force winds and spells of rain to start the weekend. The Met Office have now issued a warning
Paul Brand meets more parliamentary candidates in our last political programme before the General Election. Watch it here: