Police granted more time to question April Jones suspect Mark Bridger
Police officers working on the case of missing girl April Jones have been granted an extra 36 hours to question Mark Bridger, who was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of abduction.
Dyfed Powys Police have until just before 5pm on Friday before they either charge, release or apply for a further warrant of detention, Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan has confirmed.
Police were granted the additional time after Bridger, 46, appeared before magistrates this morning.
Five-year-old April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle at around 7pm on Monday. She had been playing with a friend on the estate where she lives, in Machynlleth, Powys.
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It emerged last night that April suffers from cerebral palsy and needs medication.
Delivering a press conference at 11am, Mr Bevan said: "The investigative team will be further interviewing Mark Bridger today.
"We will be continuing to piece together his movements during the relevant times and looking to overlay what we glean from his interviews, witness accounts and sightings."
He added: "While there is a huge visible presence of police officers and search teams, there is also a significant team of officers working around the clock behind the scenes, assisting in developing that picture so we can map out to the best of our ability his movements.
"This includes a vast amount of forensic analysis taking places which forms a crucial part of the investigation. However, forensics alone will not solve this.
"We need information from the public which may help us find April."
Mr Bevan again urged people to consider whether they had seen Mark Bridger between 6.30pm on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday.
Anyone who has had contact with him between these times - be it face-to-face, via text message, telephone or social media - should contact police, he added.
"We also need information regarding the movements of the blue Land Rover Discovery registration L503 MEP between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon," he said.
Superintendent Ian John then took lead of the press conference, urging local people to search their gardens and outbuildings, and provide police with details of their knowledge of the area.
"We want people to come forward to provide the volunteer search coordinators with their details and what skills and local knowledge they possess," he said.
"We have developed a set of questions which we want the coordinators in Machynlleth Leisure Centre to complete and feed to us. This information will help us make a wider search more effective for us."
Supt John added: "This is undoubtedly a large and complex search operation of its kind in recent policing history."
The operation, Supt John said, consists of eight Specialist police search teams directed by five POLSA’s; six Police Dog Handlers; officers from Dyfed Powys Police Marine Unit; RAF Mountain Rescue Team, coordinating the Mountain Rescue response with Brecon Beacons & Dyfi Valley Mountain Rescue Teams, including 11 Search and Rescue Dogs; the Coastguard Search Team and RNLI.
He added: "The three key messages for me are: Volunteers are welcomed; the police must co-ordinate the search activity to ensure integrity of the search operation and under Police co-ordination we can use volunteers at the right time, in the right place and utilise appropriate skills.
"This will maximise opportunities and prevent people attending when there may not be readily available tasks."
Anyone with information is urged to call 101. Alternatively, Dyfed Powys Police have issued a number for people who might have details about April: 0300 2000 333.