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The Search Continues for April Jones

For over 10 weeks Dyfed Powys Police have been searching for the body of five year old April Jones who went missing from outside her home in Machynlleth on October 1st.

The aim of everyone working on this case has always been to locate April, to investigate her disappearance, to support the family through this traumatic time and reassure the community.

The media interest in this case has helped to keep the work that we are doing to find April in the public eye. We have had teams of officers from all corners of the United Kingdom helping us in our operation. This week again we have had sixteen search teams, comprising of a search leader and six officers, as well as twelve CSI dogs with their handlers out on the mountain and valleys in and around Machynlleth, in all weathers, carrying out systematic and methodical searches of the challenging terrain.

This is one of the largest search operations in the UK in police history. Specialist teams from other agencies and organisations have been searching rivers and the sea; mines and quarries; and various other confined spaces on the hillsides of Machynlleth. Volunteers from a number of mountain rescue teams have walked for miles over the mountain sides all working together looking for clues and evidence that may help us find April.

We will keep looking until we are satisfied that we have exhausted all lines of enquiry. We are not putting an end date on the operation, and we are not willing to speculate how much longer it will last, but we will say that we are committed to stay here until we can be sure that there are no more viable places to look for April’s body.

The investigation team continue their work to uncover what happened that evening and to prepare for the trial. Specially trained family liaison officers continue to support the family through the difficult times as they try to recover to some sort of normality for their family.

The Jones family have shown great strength of character throughout their ordeal as they have come to terms with the fact that they will not see their daughter alive again. Showing great dignity and resilience they chose to maintain their privacy and chose to focus on their family and making sure they get through these tough times together.

The community were rocked by April’s disappearance and they quickly rallied to support Coral and Paul, April’s parents. In the early days volunteers turned up en-masse, ready and willing to do whatever they could to do their bit and help. People assisted the search team; they brought food, supplies like batteries for torches as well as warm socks and gloves. We were immensely grateful for their assistance, expert local knowledge and the support they showed to the operation. We appreciated their understanding when it came time for us to ask them to step aside from the search and to leave the work to the trained teams of officers.

The local neighbourhood police team have been instrumental in helping the community to come to terms with what happened. Officers have been out in the community speaking with people and reassuring them that even though the visible police presence in the town has dissipated, the search operation continues.

All of this work will continue in the New Year, it is by no means over. The dedication and commitment from officers and staff involved in all aspects of this operation make me proud to say I work for Dyfed Powys Police.

The key message from Dyfed Powys Police today is, while the operation will scale down over the Christmas period, work continues at a pace to make sure we are doing all that we can to find April and investigate her disappearance that night in Machynlleth.