Missing April Jones: Machynlleth "traumatised and invaded" says local
The community of Machynlleth is traumatised by the disappearance of April Jones and the mass of police officers and media teams in the area feels like “an invasion”, a local hotel owner has said.
Joan Reen, the owner of a hotel in Eglwysfach, Machynlleth, described the shock and devastation felt by everyone in the area, as the search for April continues for a fourth day.
“Everybody is feeling the same thing,” she said. “Everyone who has children or grandchildren, and because this community is so small and it’s usually so quiet and so safe it’s quite a trauma, but obviously much more so for the people involved.”
Ms Reen, who owns Ynyshir Hall, added: “Everyone knows everyone else and everyone mixes all the time, it’s such a close-knit community and everyone feels each other’s pain.
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“It feels like a huge invasion. We’re not used to all these police and media, there are cameras everywhere. It’s quite traumatic. Everyone I know is upset.”
But the mass of people in the area is also helping to console the community, Ms Reen explained. “The comforting thing is it’s very obvious that there’s really no stone being left unturned.
“There’s so many people out there searching. You can see them everywhere. I have never seen so many people out here.
“There are experts everywhere; it’s not an easy place to search as it’s very rural and often remote. It seems to me no one could criticise the effort people are putting in.”
April was last seen getting into a vehicle at around 7pm on Monday. She had been playing with a friend on the estate where she lives, in Machynlleth.
It emerged last night that April suffers from cerebral palsy and needs medication.
Hundreds of volunteers with specialist knowledge of the area have turned out in force today to help with the search effort.
A number of farmers who have worked in the area for several years are helping to search acres of woodland, forests and mountains in a bid to find April.
Ms Reen, who has lived in the area for more than 25 years, said there was not a single person who had not lent a hand to the search team. “Everyone who can has been out to help,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t.
“But this is that sort of area. If you need help you can ask your next door neighbour and they will help you. This is just another extension of that.
“And when it’s the life of a small child it’s traumatic. I don’t think anyone will want to sleep or eat until this is over.”
Anyone with information is urged to call 101. Alternatively, Dyfed Powys Police have issued a number for people who might have details about April: 0300 2000 333.