A UK man has been arrested following the abduction of a five-year-old girl whose disappearance has sparked one of the largest searches the area has seen in decades.
April Jones was riding her bike with friends near her home in Machynlleth, Wales, when she “willingly” got into a van on Monday evening local time (around Tuesday morning in Sydney), police said.
April’s disappearance led to a huge appeal to find her on social media, with many celebrities posting her photograph on Facebook and Twitter.
Detectives arrested a 46-year-old man last night but are still searching for the little girl.
British media have named the man arrested as Mark Bridger.
At a press conference this morning Detective Superintendant Reg Bevan said the suspect was a local man and police found him walking by the side of the road just outside town when he was taken into custody.
“We knew who we were looking for, we knew he was in the area, we’ve been anxious to trace him and speak to him,” Det. Bevan said.
“We’re [hopeful] that the individual will assist in locating April who is still missing.”
Det. Bev did not say if police were looking for another suspect, saying he would not like to “speculate” as it is a very small community.
Investigators are looking at links between April’s abduction and another suspected abduction that occurred in a nearby area last week.
The search for April involves coastguard teams, mountain rescue teams, police dogs, helicopters and British Transport Police as well as people from the town and surrounding area.
April’s godmother Mair Raftree told Wales Online: “She’s a quiet girl, she would never go with anybody and ask for a life. We just want her back safely.”
Source: Click photo of April Jones to get linked to (news.ninemsn.com) source.