BRING BEN HOME

Ben Needham case: ‘items of interest’ found at Kos excavation site

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Frances Perraudin North of England reporter12 hrs ago
Officers from South Yorkshire police excavate land in the search for Ben Needham in Kos.© PA Officers from South Yorkshire police excavate land in the search for Ben Needham in Kos. Police have found 60 “items of interest” while excavating a site on the Greek island of Kos in the search for Ben Needham, who went missing as a toddler 25 years ago.
Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he disappeared while on holiday with his mother and grandparents on 24 July 1991.
Last month, police told his family to prepare for the worst after new evidence suggested Ben could have been crushed to death by a digger. Detectives launched digs at two sites on the island, close to where Ben was last seen near his grandparents’ holiday home.
DI Jon Cousins told the Mirror the items would be taken back to the UK for further analysis and that, while they were not of major interest, they needed to be examined further.
In January last year, the Home Office agreed to give special grant funding to a team of British detectives to help search for Ben following a number of possible sightings and theories about what might have happened to him.
Following a subsequent appeal for information on Greek TV, a friend of local man Konstantinos Barkas told police that the builder, who died of stomach cancer last year, had been clearing land with an excavator close to where Ben was playing on the day he vanished and may have been responsible for the boy’s death.
The 19-strong team of South Yorkshire and Greek police officers and forensic specialists is expected to continue digging on the 2.5-acre site until the end of the week.
Needham’s mother, Kerry, who was working at a hotel on the island at the time of her son’s disappearance, has never given up hope that he could still be alive. Last week, Ben’s grandfather, Eddie Needham, visited the excavation site, telling the media that he hoped to find out what had happened to his grandson before he dies.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “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.”
The dig was put on hold in late September when an ancient burial ground was discovered at the site. British police had to seek permission from the Greek authorities to proceed with the excavation when what are believed to be Roman tombs were uncovered.
Cousins said: “As soon as we came across the top of what it is we put a stop to things straight away. We realised what we have and [the Greek archeological society] are managing that site now.”

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