Sunday 23 October 2016

Probe to find missing Ben Needham turning up new leads, say UK police

By Helen William, Press Association

Published 29/10/2015 | 17:49

Undated handout file photo of Ben Needham
Undated handout file photo of Ben Needham

THE investigation to try to find missing Ben Needham is "turning up new leads all the time," police have said.

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Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he vanished on July 24 1991 after travelling to the island of Kos with his mother and grandparents.

South Yorkshire Police Det Insp Jon Cousins gave an update on the inquiry in an interview to mark Ben's 26th birthday on October 29.

He told the Daily Mirror: "We're going to continue with our efforts looking in to everything that we have so far and, as we're going along, we're turning up new leads all the time that are very interesting to us.

"We're going to make sure that we pursue each and every one of those to try and find an answer for ourselves as well as for Kerry and the family."

He said the Greek authorities "have given us every assistance that we require and that's allowed us to really progress this a lot further than where I thought we would be at this time".

Earlier this year, Ben's mother Kerry Needham, grandmother Christine Needham and sister Leighanna appeared on Greek television with South Yorkshire Police detectives.

Mrs Needham said the programme was a "huge success" resulting in more than 100 contacts from Greek people and police said they were following up a number of new lines of inquiry.

She told the Daily Mirror: "Just because we're not all together in the same house, we're all together in thoughts and just helping each other through the day."

In January this year, South Yorkshire Police were granted £700,000 of Home Office funding to support the Greek authorities in continuing inquiries to find Ben.

The force asked for help to follow up information the family believes has never been properly investigated.

The Home Office backed a South Yorkshire Police operation in 2012 when land was excavated on Kos, near the farmhouse where Ben went missing. No trace of him was found.

The Needham family also launched a Facebook and Twitter appeal this summer to help raise awareness.

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