Monday 24 July 2017

Search for missing toddler Ben Needham expands to new site on Greek island

Ben Needham: vanished. Photo: PA
Ben Needham: vanished. Photo: PA

David Wilcock and Dave Higgens

Detectives searching for missing British toddler Ben Needham on Kos are examining a new site on the Greek island.

The second search area is close to where Ben, then 21 months old, disappeared from a farmhouse in 1991, and was reportedly brought to the attention of British police in June.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins, from South Yorkshire Police (SYP), told The Mirror the search of the new site would take several days.

He told the paper: "Work has been ongoing for the past few days on the second site that has been discussed. That work is continuing this morning in the planning and organising of getting that land ready so we can continue the work."

Ben Needham: vanished. Photo: PA
Ben Needham: vanished. Photo: PA

It came as Ben's grandfather, Eddie Needham, visited the island, where an SYP team has been searching for 10 days in a bid to discover what happened to the youngster.

Mr Needham told ITV's Good Morning Britain he hoped to get answers about his grandson's fate before he dies, but found it hard to go to the island.

He told the programme: "To be honest, I nearly did turn around and not come. I was going to cancel because I felt shocking, my stomach was churning.

"I didn't know what I was going to be met with, or what they'd found or, you know what I mean?"

Ben Needham's mother and sister appearing on Greek televsion to appeal for information about his whereabouts (Alpha TV)
Ben Needham's mother and sister appearing on Greek televsion to appeal for information about his whereabouts (Alpha TV)

South Yorkshire Police began digging at the farmhouse after new evidence was found that Ben, from Sheffield, may have been killed and buried there, yards from where he vanished while his grandfather was renovating the property.

A 19-strong team was sent to the island to investigate claims that the toddler might have been killed by a digger driver working on the 2.5-acre site.

Konstantinos Barkas, also known as Dino, was clearing land with an excavator close to where the youngster was playing on the day he vanished and may be responsible for his death, a friend of the builder reportedly told police following a TV appeal in May.

The driver reportedly died of stomach cancer last year.

Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, had been warned to "prepare for the worst".

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