Wales

April Jones: 'Reveal where her body is' plea to killer Mark Bridger

  • 31 May 2013
  • From the section Wales

Mark Bridger, the man found guilty of abducting and murdering five-year-old April Jones, has been urged to finally reveal what he did with her body.

The 47-year-old, of Ceinws, Powys, will spend his whole life in prison after he was found guilty of killing April in a sexually motivated attack.

She went missing while playing near her home in Machynlleth last October. Her remains have never been found.

A community spokesman pleaded for the killer to say where her body was.

Following the verdict, Machynlleth councillor Michael Williams urged Bridger to reflect on the "magnitude" of his "horrific" crime and reveal what he did with April's body.

"How can a man be so unfeeling? How is it possible for anyone to be in such a state of mind? I would appeal to Mark Bridger - please, please let the family know," he said.

"What happened to that little girl, where was she put? What did he do with her?"

He said the family needed some peace after the "horrendous" events of 1 October.

However, getting Bridger to crack and finally reveal what he did with April, who had mild cerebral palsy, could take years, a criminal psychologist has said.

Mystery still surrounds what exactly happened to the five-year-old after her friend said she "happily" got into Bridger's Land Rover after he approached her on the Bryn-y-Gog estate at about 7pm on 1 October, 2012.

During police interviews and throughout his four-and-a-half week trial, he rigidly stuck to his story that he accidentally ran April over and was so drunk he could not recall where he had put her body.

The largest missing person search in UK police history failed to find her remains.

In an interview with The Sun, April's parents Paul and Coral Jones said there was "no way" that Bridger would tell them where their daughter is - and they will not give him the satisfaction of asking.

Mrs Jones said: "It's the not knowing that's the hardest part. It's my worst nightmare come true," she told the newspaper.

"We haven't got a body to give April a proper burial and that breaks my heart.

"Lots of people have questioned him, but he's refused to tell us all along. If he's lied to police, barristers, the judge, there's no way he will tell me where my little girl is."

After he was unanimously found guilty of her abduction and murder, the judge at Mold Crown Court, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams, branded father-of-six Bridger a "pathological liar" and "a paedophile".

He gave him a whole life tariff - only the 37th person in the UK to receive one - and told him: "Without the knowledge of what happened to April, her parents will probably never come to terms with their grievous loss."

Criminal psychologist Serena Simmons said unpicking the complex web of lies spun by Bridger would be far from easy for prison psychiatrists.

But while it could take some time, "the truth will usually emerge" in such cases, she added.

April Jones
April Jones went missing after playing with a friend near her home

"He clearly is deluded and has a distorted view of the world," said Ms Simmons, a Nottingham Trent University senior psychology lecturer who has interviewed serial killers in the UK and USA.

"He certainly displays this mentality of 'if I keep stalling then eventually things will blow over'. But that is far from the case.

"The reason why killers often refuse to admit the extent of their crimes and their motivation can vary tremendously.

"But he definitely knows what he has done to April Jones and how she came to her death.

"If you question a person repeatedly, especially one who is trying to hide something, then the truth will usually emerge.

"The cracks in his story have already started to show during his trial. He will face more questions while in prison from his psychiatrist.

"Whether he chooses to engage with that process is a different matter but I fear finding out the full extent of what he did could take a very long time."

Search called off

Shortly after he was convicted on Thursday, it emerged that while on remand at HMP Manchester Bridger told a prison priest he disposed of April's body in a river - thought to be the Dyfi close to where he was arrested.

This conversation was the subject of legal arguments during the trial.

The jury was absent during the discussion and the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to submit the evidence.

What was revealed during the trial was that fragments of bone consistent with a juvenile human skull were found among ashes in the woodburner, along with April's blood near to a number of knives, including one which was badly burned.

A library of child sex abuse images was found on his computer, and evidence of search terms including "naked young five-year-old girls" as well as pictures of murder victims including the Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

He also had Facebook pictures of local young girls including April and her sisters.

April's disappearance sparked the biggest missing person search in UK police history.

But despite the fact that search experts, officers from 46 police forces and hundreds of members of the public scoured 650 areas covering 60 sq km near her home town, April's body has never been found.

Insp Gareth Thomas, who led the search, told the jury he was "extremely confident" that if April's body was anywhere in the vicinity, it would have been found.

The seven-month search for her remains was finally called off last month.