Police have confirmed that Mark Bridger has been charged with child abduction, murder and perverting the course of justice over the disappearance of April Jones.
The five-year-old was seen willingly getting into large vehicle at around 7pm on Monday evening on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth.
Police have been searching for the little girl, who has cerebral palsy, but are yet to find her.
Bridger, 46, was arrested on Tuesday after the schoolgirl, from the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, Wales, disappeared.
Bridger attended the same school parents’ evening as April’s mother and father hours before their daughter disappeared. He has two children at the school.
Sources close to the Jones family said the couple had been given a ‘glowing report’ about their daughter’s progress – and, as a treat, had allowed her some extra play time when they returned home.
Police announced that Mark Bridger is due to appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.
At a press conference in Aberystwyth this afternoon, police paid tribute to the ‘overwhelming’ effort made by members of the public and emergency services who have trawled the surrounding area to find clues about the little girl’s disappearance.
Chief Constable Jackie Roberts, wearing a pink ribbon that has become the symbol for the little girl’s search, said: ‘Our thoughts are very much with April’s family, friends and those who know her today.
‘The last few days has seen us deal with one of the most complex and fast moving enquiries in the history of our Force and one our communities have never had to face before.
‘It has been marked by the coming together of people from across the country with one aim in mind, to return April to her family.
‘The community of Machynlleth and the surrounding areas turned out in force using social networks to get the message out and appeal for April’s safe return.
‘To see so many people give up their time freely was truly humbling for everyone involved.
‘I would like to pay tribute to the tremendous effort that has gone into trying to find April Jones this week. I have spent time with the family, and they are overwhelmed with the number of people who wanted to help in any way they possibly could.
‘The search teams have faced an enormous challenge with the hostile terrain, the adverse weather and the logistics of searching such a beautiful but remote landscape.
‘Everyone was working toward the same goal – to find April safe and well and reunite her with her family.
‘People have worked around the clock to search for April, to investigate the crime and to keep her disappearance in the public eye.
‘Now that Mark Bridger has been charged with this horrific crime it is time to let the judicial process take its course and time to let the family come to terms with what has happened over the last week.