The man, who has not being named by police, is from Colwyn Bay, where the child was kidnapped from a garden. He is also charged with an "unrelated criminal offence".
Police in Llandudno last night confirmed he was the same suspect they had held in custody for the last four days. After being detained and questioned for almost 96 hours he was released from custody yesterday afternoon, only to be immediately rearrested on what police called "another matter".
The charges are believed to follow the discovery of the missing items of clothing belonging to the dead girl.
Shortly before the charge was announced, police taped off an area three- quarters of a mile from the garden where Sophie was last seen alive.
Police have staged a huge hunt for clues, carrying out a painstaking finger-tip search of the fields behind the garden where Sophie was last seen alive. Her body was found on a beach at Llandudno, Gwynedd by a walker at 7.15am on Sunday. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
After the ordeal of this week's emotional public appeals by Sophie's parents, Christopher and Julie, Det Ch Insp John Williams paid tribute to the couple's determination and bravery. "We are very, very grateful for what they have done," he said.
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