Balloon release to mark birthday of missing schoolgirl April Jones

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Balloons will be released into the sky to mark what would have been the sixth birthday of missing school girl April Jones.

April's family, including her mum Coral and her dad Paul, will release the pink balloons from the Bryn y Gog Green on Thursday, close to the spot where the five-year-old went missing on October 1 last year.

The gathering will start at about 6pm, with the balloons, with names and messages for April, released between 6.30pm and 7pm.

Coral and Paul Jones of Machynlleth, who asked people to wear pink ribbons as a sign of faith April will be found alive, have said they will not give up on their daughter until she is found.

The family are asking people across the country to release pink balloons with a tag with names and a message on at the same time.

Meanwhile, Claire Owen, 30, landlady of the Red Lion public house in Maengwyn Street, said the town is on a 're-building mission' following April's disappearance. She said the town was in a deep state of shock but community spirit was bringing it back to its former self.

She said: "Someone asked me the other day if the town felt shame at what had happened, in that there was something like this able to happen in the community, but I said no way. There are so many wonderful people in this community, as found when April first went missing. Hundreds of people spent hours searching the whole town and surrounding areas for her and the community spirit was incredible.

"Machynlleth is a wonderful town and this one incident shocked the world, but it can't be said that the community feels shame. Machynlleth is a strong town with a strong community spirit and I am proud to be from here."

Mark Bridger, 47, of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, denies charges of murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice and is due to appear at Mold Crown Court for trial on April 29.

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