Pink star shines in Machynlleth for missing April Jones

A special pink star for missing five-year-old April Jones has been lit in Machynlleth – as the girl’s heartbroken parents released new pictures of her two months after she went missing.

Parents Coral and Paul say they hope the new pictures will help in some way towards finding her. One of the pictures shows Mrs Jones, 43, hugging April while on a family outing in the country.

Another shows her lovingly cradling her daughter, who was just a toddler when the picture was taken.

There is also a picture of April swinging on a climbing frame and another of her playing on a beach.

The release of the photographs came as the pink star was lit as part of the town’s Christmas lights last night.

Rotary Club bosses, organisers of the display, said the star was put up to reflect the fact April was still missing this Christmas.

A club spokeswoman said: “Our lights display this year is a line of white bulbs except for one special light – the pink star for April. We wanted to do something.”

The spokeswoman said all the white light bulbs will be on a timer to go off at about 12.30am each night but April’s pink star will remain on throughout the night.

April, whose favourite colour is pink, was last seen near her home in Machynlleth on October 1.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they had 16 search teams out every Monday to Friday looking for April. The operation this week included about 130 officers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, as well as Wales.

A spokesman said: “We will continue searching as long as we have viable lines of inquiry.”

An auction was also held last night for April’s Fund, which has already raised more than £40,000.

Items on sale included a diamante-studded denim jacket donated by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, and a pair of shoes belonging to Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones.

Fundraiser Colin Macdonald said: “April’s story has touched people across Wales including celebrities.

“Bonnie has been really moved by April’s story and she was keen to give something to the cause.”

Machynlleth man Mark Bridger has been charged with April’s murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice.

By Wayne Beese