SHEFFIELD mum Kerry Grist whose son Ben Needham vanished on the Greek island of Kos has written a book about her ordeal.
Kerry, aged 41, of Ecclesfield, will see her book, Ben, go on sale this year and said she hopes it draws attention to her son’s case.
Ben was 21 months old when he disappeared while playing outside a farmhouse his grandparents were renovating in 1991. Kerry is convinced he was abducted.
In one emotional chapter of the book, Kerry says: “It’s amazing how some people can light up a room just by stepping into it.
“Ben was 21 months old and full of smiles. He spread happiness simply by being there.”
In the book Kerry describes the agony of being initially suspected by the police of some involvement in her son’s disappearance, the early sightings that raised their hopes, and the callous hoaxes the family has had to endure over the years.
Kerry said she hopes Ben himself may read the book and come forward. It is to be sold around the world in a number of languages.
Kerry said reliving her nightmare to write the book had been ‘traumatic’ but she hoped it would help raise the profile of the case.
“You’re re-living it and that was really difficult to do, but I think it will be worth it and raise publicity about Ben,” she said.
A specialist search team, led by South Yorkshire Police, travelled to Kos last year to excavate land next to the farmhouse. Detectives wanted to rule out a theory Ben may have been buried accidentally - and no body was found.
Kerry said flying out to Kos in October had been ‘one of the hardest things’ she had ever done.
“But it had a positive outcome so I’m grateful for that,” she said.
She claims inquiries are now being carried out into a new photo of a mystery boy who resembles Ben, which was produced by a viewer after she made an appeal on a Greek TV programme.
She said: “We’re working all day and night trying to follow up lines of inquiry on that. We don’t want to raise our hopes too much.”