April Jones was only five years old when her life was snatched away from her. She was last seen alive with a friend, getting into a vehicle described as a light-coloured van as the two girls played on their bikes less than 100 yards from April’s home.
Speaking at an emotional press conference 36 hours after April’s disappearance, her mother, Coral Jones made an emotional appeal for the return of her missing daughter before she broke down in tears. “It has been 36 hours since April was taken from us,” she said. “There must be someone out there who knows where she is and can help the police find her. We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old. Please, please, please help find her.”
In the search for April, UK’s alert system was used for the first time. Amber’s mother: “The search for my beautiful April ended in tragedy and that is why I want to do everything I can to make sure that the next time a child is taken or in danger we can bring them home safely.”
“Every second counts”
The impact of April’s case was felt across the whole country. “April went missing in 2012 and an alert was sent out then. It means a lot to me. They [the police] helped me out and I’d like other people to be helped as well. Even if it gets one child back home, so one family doesn’t have to go through what we went through, it’s worth it,” said April’s mother. April’s father continued: “Every second counts in a situation where a child has gone missing. It’s very important that as many people sign up as possible to this scheme [Child Rescue Alert].”
“It would have given her a huge chance”
On May 25th, 2014, UK’s Child Rescue Alert has been improved. April’s mother feels that if such a system had been in place when April was abducted, she may have been saved. “It would have given her a chance, a huge chance. Her friend knew what kind of car the man who took April had so people would have known what to look for. We could have April with us now, safe and well”, she said.
April was abducted on the evening of October 1st, 2012 as she played on her pink bicycle close to her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid-Wales. Former abattoir worker Bridger (48) who kept child porn and pictures of dead youngsters on his laptop, lured April into his Land Rover and drove her to his remote rented home before brutally sexually assaulting her, killing her and disposing of her body. He was jailed for life in May 2013 and will die behind bars.