Police hunting for missing April Jones today revealed they arrested suspect Mark Bridger on suspicion of murder.
The five-year-old went missing from the mid Wales market town of Machynlleth on Monday, with the search for her now into a fifth day.Officers today said 46-year-old Bridger, who was arrested on Tuesday, is being questioned on suspicion of murder.
Welsh Police have until 5pm on Friday to either charge or release Bridger.The revelation will come as a devastating blow to the hundreds of volunteers who joined the search for April this week in the hope of finding her alive.
While Dyfed-Powys Police and expert search teams have yet to find a body, after more than 220 officers were tasked with finding April since she vanished at 7pm on Monday.The further details surrounding Bridger's arrest were revealed by police to the press at 10.30am on Friday.
As the search for April turned from a child abduction to a murder investigation, police again asked volunteers to leave the search for the five-year-old to professionals.
The grim news for the small Welsh town came soon after two women claimed they saw a man carrying a bin bag to a river the day after April went missing.
The two women who made the sighting are said to have been interviewed by police, who insist they are 'looking into all leads'.Carwen Sheen, 36, told the Daily Mirror: "I've told the police what I saw, it's up to them now."
Police said the 'dynamics of the search' have now changed following the 'significant development' in their investigation.
Officers praised the public for the support and participation, but said it is 'no longer appropriate' for untrained members of the public to continue the search.Describing the questioning of Mark Bridger, Det Supt Reg Bevan, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: "He remains in custody at Aberystwyth Police Station where he continues to be questioned.
"The arrest does not detract from our efforts to find April and we remain committed to finding her."Her family has been informed of this development and as you would expect they continue to be supported by a family liaison officer.
"While this is a significant development in the investigation, I once again appeal to the public for information which may help us find April."We are looking to trace the movements of Mark Bridger between 6.30pm on Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday and any sightings of him between these times.
"We also need information regarding the movements of the blue Land Rover Discovery registration L503 MEP between these times."