April on bike
April on bike

The heartbroken parents of missing girl April Jones have issued a new picture of her in a bid to boost the search for their five-year-old daughter.

Happy April beams out of the image, sitting on the pink and purple bicycle she was playing on when she vanished, in October 2012.

April disappeared from outside her home in Machynlleth, Powys, in Wales.

The new image comes at a difficult time for her family, ahead of the appearance in court tomorrow of the man charged with her murder.

Mark Bridger is charged with killing April and perverting the course of justice. April's body has not yet been found.

Bridger will appear at Mold Crown Court on 14 January.

Searches by 16 police dog teams have failed to find April.

Mother Carol Jones issued a plea on Facebook last month, revealing she believes her daughter is still alive.

"We just want you home for Christmas," she said.

"It's so hard, you not here, running around asking how long before Father Christmas is coming. And you trying to open your presents and trying to help us wrap presents for family and friends.

"Please come home."

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: "Currently there are 16 search teams involved in the operation.

"This consists of police search advisers, 16 dog teams and a Dyfed-Powys Police search cell of eight members of staff, which drives the logistical support."