(CNN) -- A man was found guilty Thursday of murdering April Jones, a 5-year-old girl whose disappearance in a remote part of Wales last year sparked a huge search.
Mark Bridger had denied murder in his trial at Mold Crown Court in northeast Wales.
April was snatched on October 1 as she played with a friend on a street near her home in Machynlleth, a town in rural mid-Wales.
Hundreds of people from the town and surrounding communities joined emergency services in searching for the missing child before it became apparent it was a murder investigation.
Her body has never been found despite police efforts.
Ed Beltrami, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said the trial had exposed Bridger "as a violent, coldhearted murderer and a calculated liar."
Since he was first interviewed by police in October, Bridger had "relentlessly spun a web of lies and half-truths to try and distance himself from the truly horrific nature of the crime he perpetrated, Beltrami said.
"He has refused to take responsibility for what he did to April and has stopped at nothing to try and cover his tracks."
The prosecutor said he hoped the verdict would help April's parents come to terms with their loss.