Tuesday 27 September 2016

Appeal in missing boy case sparks fresh hope

Amy Murphy

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

Ben Needham who vanished on July 24 1991
Ben Needham who vanished on July 24 1991
Ben's mother Kerry Needham.

The mother of Ben Needham has said she feels the family have made a breakthrough in their 24-year search after appearing on Greek television.

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Kerry Needham said the programme, which was screened last Friday night, was a "huge success", resulting in more than 100 contacts from Greek people.

Ben, from Sheffield in South Yorkshire in England, vanished on July 24, 1991 after travelling to the island of Kos with his mother and his grandparents. He was 21 months old.

Mrs Needham said: "I feel we have made a breakthrough. "It doesn't matter how many times we cry, we'll always find the strength, build that back up and continue. But I think this time we have made a big, big impression out there. The information is coming in now, I think they did a fantastic job."

Mrs Needham took part in the three-hour TV show with Ben's grandmother Christine Needham, her daughter Leighanna and detectives from South Yorkshire Police.

The Nikolouli programme, the English translation of which is 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel', broadcasts to around 50pc of the Greek TV audience and is about missing people.

Last month, Mrs Needham travelled to Greece to meet a man who believed he could have been Ben. But DNA tests proved he was not her son, who would now be 25.

Another DNA test on a man in Cyprus proved negative in 2013.

Mrs Needham said it was hard not to be hopeful in those circumstances and said her latest trip was "heartbreaking".

Irish Independent

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