Updated: 19:05, 2 October 2012 - Arrested man named
Updated: 18:45, 2 October 2012 - Arrested man known to family

Police have named the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones.

He is Mark Bridger, a 46-year-old man from Machynletth who is known to the five-year-old's family.

He was arrested around 4pm on Tuesday afternnon after being caught on foot. His empty car was recovered soon after, police said on Tuesday evening.

april jones

April Jones: She was wearing a purple coat when she disappeared

Forensic officers were already examining the vehicle and described it as "a vehicle he had use of which is of interest to the inquiry."

Speaking to the media, Superintendent Ian John, the local police commander, said: "We are hopeful that we can still find April safe and well."

Mr John also confirmed that police had made inquiries about registered sex offenders known to be living in the area.

Another line of inquiry saw officers examine whether April's abduction was linked to another attempted abduction in the Aberystwyth area around one week ago.

Officers said Bridger was arrested by a police patrol to the north of the mid Wales market town with the arrest coming in the hour before April's parents, Coral and Paul Jones, were due to make a public appeal for help at a police press conference in Aberystwyth.

"We are pursuing the inquiry as if she's still alive," Detective Bevan told Sky News.

"We knew he was in the area and he has a vehicle similar to the one April was seen getting into" he added.

April's godmother Mair Raftree, 41, from Aberystwyth, who has helped with the efforts to find her, said: "She's a quiet girl, and an important member of her family. She would never go with anybody and ask for a lift. We just want her back safely."

The arrest was made just north of a couple of miles outside the town. Police said the man was arrested on foot, and his vehicle was being searched. The arrest was made at around 4pm on Tuesday, just an hour before a press conference at which April's parents were due to speak.

April was last seen by another child getting into the driver's side of a grey van which drove off in the Mid Wales town of Machynlleth at about 7pm last night.

white van

The Sky helicopters were able to catch a shot of the van believed to have been dumped by the man who was arrested in connection with missing April Jones

On Monday night police set up a roadblock around the town and were checking all the vehicles coming in and out of the area.

Hundreds of volunteers have been scouring the Welsh countryside looking for the five-year-old, who was out playing when she was abducted.

Police have split the search parties into 10 groups of 20 people to search different areas, led by search-and-rescue experts.

Bevan said the force would be combing through CCTV, both municipal and private, to find clues about the abduction of the five-year-old.

The abduction of a five-year-old girl last night is "every family's worst nightmare", Bevan said. "It is a very difficult time for them and we have specialist advisors with them."

april jones estate

Children's toys discarded in the estate near where April Jones lives, Machynlleth

He said specialist advisors from across the country were helping police with the investigations. Two helicopters have been deployed to search the area.

Charlie Hedges, manager for missing, abducted and kidnapped children at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), said he was called at 11pm on Monday for help on the case.

"There are the challenges of how you interview a child to get the right information, and with the time of day. You can't interview them through the night."

SEE ALSO

  • Pictures Of The Five-Year-Old Who Was 'Abducted In Van'
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    • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

      ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A police officer tries to prevent a member of the public from getting at a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

      ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A member of the public approaches a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, to shout abuse as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    • April Jones missing

      A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

      ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Members of the public and policemen look on as a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

      ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

      ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Media record outside Aberystwyth police station where Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, prepares to leave on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    • April Jones missing

      A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      Members of the public wait for the van to leave outside Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court after Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      ALL TV OUT. ALL TV RELATED INTERNET SITES OUT. Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Mark Bridger as he appears in the dock of Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

    • April Jones missing

      A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

    • April Jones missing

      A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

    • April Jones missing

      A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

    • April Jones missing

      Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

    • April Jones missing

      Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

    • April Jones missing

      A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

    • April Jones missing

      Forensic officers search the home of Mark Bridger - who has been arrested on suspicion of murder - as the hunt for missing April Jones resumed in Machynlleth, mid Wales.

    • April Jones missing

      Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

    • April Jones missing

      BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

    • April Jones missing

      BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

    • April Jones missing

      BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Britain-missing-child-police

      Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

    • Britain-missing-child-police

      Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Britain-missing-child-police

      A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

    • Britain-missing-child-police

      A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is taken in a prison van from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams prepare to continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Media satellite trucks outside the leisure centre in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, as search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • April Jones missing

      Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

      MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)