Mark Bridger, the 46-year-old accused of abducting and killing five-year-old schoolgirl April Jones is to appear in court on Monday charged with her murder.

The former lifeguard will face Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court in relation to the schoolgirl's disappearance in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, a week ago.

Bridger was charged with the abduction and murder of April on Saturday following four days of questioning.

mark bridger

Mark Bridger is due to appear in court on Monday

He is also charged with perverting the course of justice.

April, who suffers from cerebral palsy and needs daily medication, was last seen on the town's Bryn-y-Gog estate on Monday evening.

A witness saw her step into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery car.

Parents Coral Jones, 40 and Paul Jones, 44, allowed her to play out late as a treat after she received a glowing school report.

April remains missing despite an intensive, ongoing search effort which has now spanned a week.

april jones

April Jones has been missing since Monday

More than 700 people packed into Machynlleth's St Peter's Church yesterday to attend an emotional service for the schoolgirl.

Reverend Kathleen Rogers led the moving sermon, in which she said: "The realisation is coming on since yesterday when we heard murder - that has hit home."

Reverend Rogers said prayers for April's parents and paid tribute to the community who had pulled together to help in the search.

She read a touching poem on behalf of April's mother called "Mum" as the Bishop of Bangor, Reverend Andy John, said the tight-knit community had "touched the heart of people around the world".

april jones procession

Hundreds took part in a procession before the service

He revealed that emails had been received from as far afield as South Africa and New Zealand - with a church in Texas even making a donation.

Mountain rescue teams were stood down last night as the search operation switched emphasis.

Meanwhile the hunt goes on, with investigating officers revealing police numbers on the ground are expected to double this morning.

Night time search efforts have been suspended, with the shift in manpower being described as a change of "resources rather intensity".

Superintendent Ian John paid tribute to mountain rescue volunteers "who have worked themselves to a standstill in the search for April".

He added: "We are upping our numbers to 18 teams which will be over 100 officers."