Missing girl: Mum's desperate plea

April Jones has now been missing for two days, while police are holding a man for questioning. Photo / Welsh police via AFP
April Jones has now been missing for two days, while police are holding a man for questioning. Photo / Welsh police via AFP

The distraught mother of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales has made a moving plea for information as British police identified a local man they are questioning.

April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural mid-Wales market town of Machynlleth, triggering a huge search by residents across the area.

Her mother Coral Jones fought back tears as she said: "It's been 36 hours since April was taken from us.

"There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her. We are desperate for any news.

"April is only five years old. Please, please, help find her,'' she said before being overcome with emotion.

"Her disappearance triggered the first nationwide child rescue alert, a high-profile system adopted in 2010.

"The Dyfed-Powys Police force named 46-year-old Mark Bridger as the man they have been questioning since Tuesday, in the hope it will bring in more information about his movements.

It appealed for witnesses who may have seen Bridger or his sport utility vehicle between the girl's disappearance and his arrest.

"Please don't assume that someone else has already contacted us. Please, even if you have the smallest of information, it could be crucial to this investigation,'' said Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan.

"Even if you feel yours is trivial, it may be the vital piece that we are missing.''

He said more than 50 volunteers were helping mountain rescue teams in the search.

The police officer said he was confirming Bridger's identity to end speculation but stressed that the arrested man was just one of several lines of inquiry.

An overnight search failed to find the youngster, and police urged the public - who have turned out in droves to help search for the missing girl - to leave efforts to "members of our trained and skilled teams''.

- AFP

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