1. ITV Report

TIMELINE: April Jones disappearance

  • Monday October 1
  • 7pm - April is playing with friends in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth when she goes missing. According to witnesses she is taken away in a van or a four-wheel drive vehicle and there are no apparent signs of a struggle.
  • 10.30pm - Dyfed Powys Police issue a statement saying: "We are increasingly concerned for a missing five-year-old, April, who was last seen playing on her bike in Machynlleth at about 19:30hrs. April was seen getting into a light-coloured van that drove off."
  • Hundreds of local volunteers join the search for the little girl, and publicity is raised on Twitter and Facebook.
Hundreds of volunteers help with the search Credit: Rui Vieira, PA Wire, Press Association Images
  • Tuesday October 2
  • 8.30am - Police reveal more information about the circumstances of April's disappearance. The force said: "Her abduction took place around 7pm in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth. It was witnessed by another young child when April was seen getting into a grey or light-coloured van, or van-sized vehicle.
  • "At the time of her disappearance, April was wearing a purple knee-length coat with grey fur around the hood, her school white polo top and black trousers."
  • Local support for the search effort continues, with binmen downing tools to help. A leisure centre is used as a co-ordination point.
  • 11.40am - Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Manchester, shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith said: "I am sure I speak for everyone here today and everyone in Wales in saying that our thoughts and our prayers are with April Jones and her family in Machynlleth - the little girl who has gone missing.
  • "We all hope and pray that she is back in her community and with her family as soon as is humanly possible."
  • 12pm - Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan, from Dyfed Powys Police, tells reporters it appears April got into the vehicle willingly. Officers are tackling the "delicate and time-consuming" task of speaking to the children who were with April around the time she was kidnapped, he says.
  • He also raises the possibility that the vehicle could be left-hand drive, as it appeared that April had got into the driver's side.
  • Police say they want to make sure that search volunteers are used in a co-ordinated way.
  • 1pm - The search for April tops Twitter's trending list as publicity is raised on the social networking site. There have been more than 150,000 mentions of "April Jones", "#FindApril" and "#FindAprilJones" since 7pm the previous day.
  • 4.30pm - Police announce that a 46-year-old man has been arrested in connection with April's abduction. Mr Bevan says he was detained at about 3.30pm while walking along the side of the road a couple of miles outside Machynlleth. He lives locally and has a vehicle similar to the one described by witnesses who saw April's abduction, Mr Bevan says. He also says the vehicle has been recovered. He says the police's priority is finding April alive.
  • 6pm - A special vigil service is held at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth where prayers are said and candles lit for the safe return of the five-year-old.
  • 7.45pm - It emerges that the man arrested over the abduction of April is known to her family.
  • 8pm - He is named by sources as Mark Bridger, 46.
  • 9.30pm - April's family release a statement through police, saying their lives have been "shattered".
  • The statement, read by Mr Bevan, says: "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."
46 year-old Mark Bridger was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of April Jones' abduction Credit: Dyfed Powys Police
  • Wednesday October 3
  • 7.30am - Police say the overnight search, involving 40 trained police officers, dog handlers and mountain rescue teams, has yielded no news on April's whereabouts. Superintendent Ian John thanks the public for their efforts and warns of the "challenging conditions", asking people to leave the search to "members of our trained and skilled teams".
  • *10.30am *- Police release a photograph of Mark Bridger, 46, and confirm his identity to "end speculation". They also release a photograph of his Land Rover Discovery, which was seized from a repair garage in Machynlleth.
  • 12.30pm - April's mother Coral Jones makes an emotional plea for any information that will help in the search.
  • 8.30pm - Police granted an extra 12 hours to question Mark Bridger and also confirm that April Jones has cerebral palsy.