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Mum hopes fresh police appeal on Kos will find missing Ben Needham

Published 10/05/2016

Ben Needham, who went missing almost 25 years ago
Ben Needham, who went missing almost 25 years ago

The mother of Ben Needham - the toddler who went missing on a Greek island almost 25 years ago - said she hopes a fresh police appeal will finally provide answers for her family.

Kerry Needham was speaking as a team of 10 South Yorkshire Police officers appealed for help to find the youngster at the farmhouse where he was last seen on the island of Kos in 1991.

They also confirmed a £10,000 reward from the charity Crimestoppers was available to anyone who provides information which leads to the discovery of Ben, even if they live outside the UK.

Ms Needham said she hoped that Greece's statute of limitation laws would mean that people may come forward now in the knowledge they can no longer be prosecuted for withholding information.

Speaking on the island, Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said: " I believe that it's highly likely that somebody living on Kos today, or somebody that has lived on Kos in the past, will have the answer and know what has happened to Ben Needham.

"We want to appeal to those people to come forward and help us find what has happened to Ben."

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

Over the years there have been a number of possible sightings and a range of theories about what happened to the youngster, who would now be 26.

Earlier this year, South Yorkshire Police announced that they had received extra funding from the Home Office to help in the search.

Ms Needham told the BBC: " We need to look to the future and remain positive and hopefully get some answers.

"I have every faith in South Yorkshire Police. They are amazing detectives. I couldn't wish for any more from them. There's no words to describe how much this means to me."

She added: " Ben wasn't abducted by aliens. The ground did not open up and swallow him. Ben was physically taken away from the that area by persons unknown."

Ms Needham said she realised it would be traumatic for Ben to find out what happened to him but she said: "H e deserves to know the truth and so do we."

The British police officers said they were looking into a call made in 1993 by an unknown Greek person.

The caller claimed Ben's name had been changed to Andreas and that he was being looked after by someone called Nikos.

Mr Fenwick told ITV Calendar News: "We've got very, very limited information. We've tried to follow that information up for some time now.

"We've tried to identify the person that made that call and we have not been able to do so.

"So, today, we're here appealing to the people of Kos and to the individual who made that call in 1993 to come forward and help us so we can evaluate everything that he may have to offer."

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