The family of April Jones have made an emotional plea for the missing five-year-old.

In a brief, heart-rending message issued on Facebook, her parents, Coral and Paul Jones, state simply: "We just want you home for Christmas."

The message was posted to mark the 11-week anniversary of April's abduction from near her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales.

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Searchers are due to take a two-week break from the hunt for April, but will resume their duties in the new year.

Superintendent Ian John, of Dyfed Powys Police, who is heading the search, paid tribute last week to the family's great dignity and resilience, and spoke of their strength of character.

He also read out a message from April's parents in which they describe "coming to terms with the fact our baby girl has been taken from us".

The latest Facebook message reads: "11 weeks now my baby April been missing - we just want you home for Christmas.

"It's so hard you not here running around asking how long before father Christmas is coming + you trying to open your pressent + try and help us wrap presents for family + friends. Please come home."

It coincides with the posting of a new photograph of a smiling April standing in front of a Christmas tree.

The schoolgirl was last seen playing on her bike close to her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth on the evening of October 1.

April, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been allowed to play out late after getting a glowing report from school earlier that evening.

Massive efforts to find her body in the rugged terrain around the town have continued unabated.

Mark Bridger, 46, has been charged with April's murder. He is also charged with child abduction and perverting the course of justice. Bridger is due to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on January 11 for a plea hearing.