April Jones: Emotional Suspect In Court

Mark Bridger has been remanded in custody charged with abducting and murdering five-year-old April Jones.

The 46-year-old stood in the dock at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court where the charges were put to him.

He is also accused of unlawful disposal and concealment of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Bridger was tearful as he spoke to confirm his name, age and address. He also confirmed he understood the charges.

At the end of the hearing Betty Griffiths, the chairman of magistrates, told Bridger he would be remanded in custody and would next appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Neither John Hedgecoe, defending, nor district crown prosecutor Iwan Jenkins were called upon to speak during the brief hearing.

Also sitting at the rear of the court was Superintendent Ian John, who has led the search for April.

Afterwards he returned to Machynlleth to continue supervising the on-going operation to find her.

It is now a week since the youngster was seen playing near her home in Machynlleth before she got into a vehicle.

Hundreds gathered in the town on Sunday for a silent march, followed by a special church service in remembrance of April.

In a Facebook post this weekend, her mum Coral, 40, wrote: "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."

She has called upon people from across the country to release pink balloons and lanterns at 7pm to show belief that April will be found alive.

A message posted on the Find April Facebook Group read: "A message from Coral and Paul Jones and their family. They are asking if you could please set of pink balloons or lanterns tonight at 7.30pm.

"Let's light the skies up and show them how much support they have."

A statement released by Dyfed-Powys Police said: "They are asking friends and neighbours, and anyone else who cares to do so whether they live in Machynlleth, anywhere else in Wales or indeed the United Kingdom to light a small candle at the same time and join them in remembering their beautiful little girl April."

Mountain rescue teams teams are now scaling back their efforts because the work ahead is more suited to specialist police search teams.

Over the past seven days, they have scoured 70 sq km of remote terrain.

The number of police search teams will double from 10 to 18 as more officers are drafted in this week, and military assistance will remain for as long as police need them.

"We'll do what we're good at which is the wilderness and rural areas," Warrant Officer John Roe, from RAF Mountain Rescue, told Sky News.

"The police specialists are excellent in the urban areas and searching closer to people's homes and things like that. We're good at sustaining and keeping ourselves in the outdoor environments."

The searchers have made the town's leisure centre their base.

Although local volunteers were stood down last week, people in the close-knit community are continuing to help where they can.

Sue Winchurch and her family, who live seven miles from the town, travelled to the leisure centre yesterday to drop off food for the searchers.

"It's been my son's birthday and we've been over to the West Midlands for a party so we've brought over some things - leftover sandwiches and cakes - just because we wanted to do something," she said.

::Follow Sky News' live blog for the latest updates on the search for April Jones