Top detective briefs Ben Needham's family on progress of dig

Ben Needham
Ben Needham
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The detective leading the search for Ben Needham has left Kos to brief relatives on the progress of excavation work.

The detective leading the search for Ben Needham has left Kos to brief relatives on the progress of excavation work being carried out.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins left the Greek island today to have a face-to-face meeting with Ben's mum Kerry and grandparents, Eddie and Christine, who are believed to be in Turkey.

He said he wants to give them a progress report on excavation work being carried out close to the spot where Ben was last seen alive in July 1991.

The detective will brief Ben's father, Simon Ward, in a telephone call.

Ben, who was 21 months old at the time and from Sheffield, was playing outside a farmhouse his grandfather was renovating when he went missing.

His family has always believed to was abducted but detectives are now working on the theory that he may have been crushed and buried by a digger clearing a building plot close to the farmhouse.

The digger driver died last year but a friend came forward in June to suggest the possibility.

Excavation work was halted on Thursday when the search team discovered an ancient burial ground containing 'four or five tombs'.

The Kos Archaeological Society has to give the go-ahead for the dig around the burial ground to continue.

There is a 19-strong search team involved in the excavation work.

The team is concentrating on a site close to the farmhouse initially but there is a second site also cordoned off and ready to be searched.

Ben's sister Leighanna, who was not born when he went missing, told ITV said she is fearful of what the police might find during the excavation work.

"I don't know what I'd prefer, we are all in the same boat," she said.

"None of us want to believe they are going to find something there because that's 25 years of fighting and pain and hurt that could have been ended 25 years ago.

"We are a family that has lived in hope and what do you do when that hope has all gone?

"How do you continue when there's nothing left?"