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08 October 2012

April Jones case: "We will stand with them in this dark hour"

April Jones case: "We will stand with them in this dark hour"

Following the disappearance of five-year-old April Jones, Dyfed Powys police have charged Mark Bridger, 46, with murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice. He will appear at Aberystwyth magistrates court today to face these charges.

Police continue to search for April, although the numerous mountain rescue teams that have been a feature of this investigation have been stood down. The search will now focus on the town of Machynlleth with less emphasis on the surrounding countryside.

Superintendent Ian John said: "We continue to have the support of a whole range of specialist teams as we continue our efforts. We will see change in resourcing but not in intensity as we move forward with the search. We are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain totally focused and committed to finding April."

On Sunday, more than 1,000 residents joined a silent procession to St Peter's church. A packed congregation took part in a bilingual service and prayed for April and her family. The service was led by local vicar, Rev Kathleen Rogers and the address was given by Right Rev Andrew John, the Bishop of Bangor. Local children also took part in the act of worship.

April's mother Coral Jones posted a message on Facebook over the weekend: "April has still not been found, I am not giving up hope that she will come home, so please keep looking for my baby girl April, she's our world, the whole family are in bits as we don't know where she is."

Elfed Godding, national director Evangelical Alliance Wales, said: "This is a heart-breaking development and we will support this dear family in prayer. In times of crisis, we go to God to find solace and hope and it's heartening to see the local church ministering the love of Christ to the town in such desperate times.

"This is a small town with a very big heart and as Christians in Wales we pledge to stand with them in this dark hour."