Ben Needham police ‘aware’ of gypsy case

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Detectives in South Yorkshire say there ‘appears to be no direct correlation’ between the disappearance of Ben Needham and the discovery of young girl on a gypsy Roma camp in Greece.

Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he vanished on the island of Kos in 1991 and his family has always believed he was abducted by gyspies.

They say their theory has become even more plausible following the discovery on a gypsy settlement of a four-year-old girl.

The authorities are now trying to identify her after DNA tests revealed she was not the daughter of the two adults with whom she was living.

She has been removed from the camp and a 39-year-old man and 40-year-old woman have been charged with child abduction.

A worldwide search is under way to find the girl’s real parents.

But a South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the case currently being investigated by Greek police after a young girl was found at a Roma settlement in the country.

“At this stage there appears to be no direct correlation between this and the disappearance of Ben Needham, who was 21 months old when he went missing in 1991.

“The case of Ben Needham continues to be investigated by the Greek authorities and South Yorkshire Police continues to support his family.

“No investigation is currently being carried out by the force in light of this recent case, and officers from South Yorkshire Police will only become involved should authorities in Greece require our assistance.”

Ben was visiting Kos with his mum Kerry when he disappeared from outside a farmhouse his grandparents were renovating.