Derbyshire volunteers help look for missing April Jones

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Derbyshire mountain rescue teams have been helping in the desperate search for missing five-year-old Welsh girl April Jones.

Dedicated volunteers from Kinder and Edale mountain rescue teams joined the major hunt for the schoolgirl’s body at the weekend.

April was last seen outside her home in Machynlleth, Powys, more than a week ago.

Ken Blakeman, chairman of Kinder Mountain Rescue Team, was among 25 other volunteers who searched around the village.

He said: “It was a very emotional weekend.

“It really got to us – the fact we were looking for such a young and possibly deceased person.

“The community in Machynlleth was absolutely phenomenal, just wonderful.

“We met lots of people wearing pink ribbons – April’s favourite colour.

“They kindly brought us hot drinks and food so we’d like to say a big thank you to the community.”

Edale Mountain Rescue Team’s dog handler John Coombes and animals Flash and Biscuit assisted in the “tragic” search.

Serena Guest used to live in Machynlleth before moving to Chesterfield to run the Whitecotes pub.

She said: “I’ve been in tears watching this unfold on TV.

“It’s just so sad – it could have been anyone’s child.”

Mrs Guest has appealed for people to donate pink fabric so she can distribute ribbons.

Call her on 07706017929.

• Forty-six-year-old Mark Bridger has appeared in court charged with murder, child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He has been remanded in custody.