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April Jones, 5, was last seen playing with friends on Monday evening. Facebook
April Jones

Police now treating April Jones disappearance as murder investigation

Police also say it is “no longer appropriate” for members of the public to continue helping in the search for the five-year-old.

WELSH POLICE say they are now treating the disappearance of five-year-old April Jones as a murder investigation – and are questioning the chief suspect on suspicion of her murder.

Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan made the disclosure at a press conference this morning, confirming that the girl’s disappearance was now being treated as a murder investigation.

“Mark Bridger has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of April Jones,” Bevan said.

“He remains in custody in Aberystwyth and continues to be questioned.”

The development comes a day after a magistrates court granted police a further 36 hours to question Bridger over April’s disappearance on Monday night. Police must now either charge or release Bridger by 5pm, unless a further extension is granted.

It also comes after torrential rain hampered the overnight search by emergency crews and ambulance services, who were on hand to offer treatment in case April was found alive. The five-year-old has a mild form of cerebral palsy and requires daily medication.

April Jones missingDetective Superintendent Reg Bevan holding up a photo of the land Rover belonging to 46-year-old Mark Bridger who has been arrested following the abduction of April Jones. (Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Another police spokesman said the developments meant the more specialised nature of the investigation meant it was "no longer appropriate to expect untrained members of the public to continue with the search" for April, who was last seen on Monday evening playing with friends.

Police have again appealed for anyone who may have seen Bridger's blue Land Rover Discovery jeep in recent days to contact them.

Readers in the UK can call 0300 2000 333 with any information.

Read: April Jones: Leading forensic psychologist now aiding search

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