Hundreds of lanterns light up the sky above Machynlleth – after Mark Bridger appears in court charged with April Jones’ murder.
Well-wishers lit candles and released the symbolic glowing lights after the little girl’s parents asked for her to be remembered, one week on from her disappearance.
It is believed Coral Jones, 40, and husband Paul, 44, released their own Chinese lantern from their garden in Machynlleth in a private remembrance.
The event came just hours after the five-year-old’s alleged killer was remanded by magistrates.
Former lifeguard Mark Bridger has appeared in court accused of murdering and abducting the schoolgirl.
Bridger, 46, was emotional in the dock as he confirmed his name, age and address, and that he understood the charges.
He is also accused of unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.
His presence at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court provoked angry scenes, with members of the public punching and kicking the police van.
Members of the crowd shouted “scum” and “kill him”.
During the four-minute hearing Bridger, who wore a blue jumper, was remanded in custody to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.
In court he did not make eye contact with anyone, but answered “yes” when asked if he had understood each charge.
He also confirmed his date of birth as November 6, 1965, and his Mount Pleasant farmhouse address in the village of Ceinws.
Neither district crown prosecutor Iwan Jenkins, nor John Hedgecoe, defending Bridger, were called on to speak during the brief hearing.
April was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth last Monday evening. Bridger was arrested the following day, but the search for April’s body goes on.
The five-year-old was last seen getting into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery last Monday evening.
Mr and Mrs Jones had allowed her to play out late as a treat for receiving a glowing school report that day at a parents’ evening.
Bridger was charged on Saturday.
The case sparked an outpouring of support for April’s parents, with hundreds of people joining in the search and offering their help.
On Sunday, more than 700 people packed into Machynlleth’s St Peter’s Church to attend an emotional service.
Reverend Kathleen Rogers, who led the sermon, said prayers for April’s parents and paid tribute to the community who helped with the search.
The Bishop of Bangor, Reverend Andy John, said the tight-knit community had “touched the heart of people around the world”.
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 on Sunday night as the search operation switched emphasis.
April Jones: Police Promise To Keep Up Search
On the eighth day of the operation, 18 specialist units, with about 100 officers, continued to focus their efforts on the five-year-old’s home town of Machynlleth and around the River Dyfi.
Police are also sifting through information they have gathered from stopping motorists on road checkpoints in the area.
Dyfed-Powys Police Superintendent Ian John, the head of the investigation, has promised officers will continue the search for the little girl for as long as they have to.
Mountain rescue teams are also involved, with Mountain Rescue England and Wales revealing that volunteers have spent 9,250 hours looking for April over the last week – equivalent to one person working for more than five years.
Video:Hundreds Lanterns light up the Machynlleth sky for April Jones[media id=669 width=610 height=340]