Balloons were released into the skies over Shropshire by hundreds of people desperate to keep the search for missing April Jones in the public eye.
Five-year-old April went missing from outside her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, on October 1.
Four weeks after her disappearance April’s cousin Sophie Edwards, 22, organised a fundraiser and balloon release at the Gatacre pavilion in Oswestry last night.
Up to 200 hundred people joined Sophie and other family members to release the pink balloons and some pink chinese lanterns.
Across Mid Wales other balloons were launched and candles were lit as part of the Find April Campaign.
Sophie and mum Glenys spent three days searching in Machynlleth after April went missing.
Sophie said: “I never thought anything would happen this close to home. April’s story has affected everyone, even people that didn’t know her or her family. I don’t see my family in Machynlleth much but that does not stop me wanting to do my best to bring my baby cousin home. I still can’t believe it is real.”
The full moon lit up the playing fields as balloons held by children and adults of all ages were released after a countdown and the playing of a song written for April called Angel Smile. The balloons were donated by Andrea Marston of Balloonatics.
She said: “I read about the event on facebook and thought it was such a good cause I was only too glad to help.” Other businesses also helped out with cakes, coffee and drinks.
Carol Morris, who went along to the balloon release, said: “This was such a wonderful thing that Sophie organised we all wanted to do what we could.” Selling balloons, badges and cakes fundraisers made £589 which Sophie said she would be taking to Machynlleth today along with unsold cakes, both for the ongoing search and rescue operation.