April Jones: Machynlleth won't give up hope - family friend

A friend of the family of missing five-year-old April Jones says there remains "so much hope" she will be found alive, one month since she disappeared.

Ceri Herbert, 33, said that when a child goes missing: "You just can't give up".

She said April's parents Coral and Paul have had "fantastic" support from the Powys community of Machynlleth, which has shielded them from media attention.

Mark Bridger, 46, has been charged with the abduction and murder of April.

"Paul and Coral, the family, everyone is just devastated and their main thing now is just to get April home as soon as possible," said Ms Herbert.

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Media captionFamily friend Ceri Herbert says April Jones' parents have 'so much hope' she is still alive

"They're having fantastic support. Just knowing that the search is still ongoing by the police and special search teams - it means so much to them."

Ms Herbert told BBC 5Live the community had protected Mr and Mrs Jones from the intense media attention.

"They want the media attention for April, not for them," Ms Herbert said.

April's parents still hope their daughter will be found alive.

"I think as a whole community we have hope and we have to carry on having hope because you just can't give up.

"When it comes to a child you can't give up," she said.

Ms Herbert told presenter Shelagh Fogarty the town had pulled together since April's disappearance.

"It just shows what a fantastic town Machynlleth is and what a wonderful place it is to live.

"Our focus is on Paul and Coral and to give them as much help as we can."

Ms Herbert said their lives had stopped since April's disappearance, but events such as Halloween had kept the community going.

"It was lovely. Every door we knocked on people were so happy to see the children out trick or treating - and just being children, really," she said.

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