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Man arrested after girl, 5, abducted near home in Wales

By Peter Wilkinson, CNN
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Wed October 3, 2012
  • Man arrested in connection with disappearance of five-year-old girl in Wales
  • April Jones abducted while she played on street near her home
  • Hundreds of people spent night scouring land around mid-Wales town of Machynlleth
  • Dyfed-Powys Police "increasingly concerned" for April's safety

London (CNN) -- A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the disappearance of a five-year-old girl abducted while she played near her home in Wales.

April Jones was last seen getting into a van in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth on Monday evening, police said.

Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan from Dyfed Powys Police told reporters that a 46-year-old man had been arrested near the town.

"We made the arrest just outside Machynlleth and we are hopeful that this individual will assist in in locating April who is still missing. We are still pursuing all lines of enquiry with a view that April is still alive and will continue to do so until we find her," he said.

Hundreds of people had stayed up overnight scouring land around the town. Melanie Biffin, from Machynlleth Council, told CNN that Mayor Gareth Jones, Councillor Mike Williams and many other locals had joined the search.

Dyfed-Powys Police said earlier they were "increasingly concerned" for the girl's safety. Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Powell said police were following several lines of inquiry.

"April was last seen playing on a bicycle near her home address at around 7.30 p.m. and was seen getting into what we believe was a light-colored van which then drove off," Powell said.

The owner of one local garage, Nerys Zjalic, told CNN by telephone that she opened her garage to supply fuel to motorists who were searching for the girl, and had not closed it since.

"Last night people were coming all the way from Caernarfon, which is 80 miles away in North Wales, after hearing about the abduction on Facebook," she said.

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Jamie Hamilton contributed to this report.

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