Family issues new appeal for help in finding Sheffield's Ben Needham
The family of missing Ben Needham from Sheffield has issued a new appeal for help in finding him three years after detectives said they believe him to be dead.
In October 2016, South Yorkshire Police announced that detectives believed Ben, who was 21 months old when he vanished on the Greek island of Kos, died as a result of an accident near to where he was last seen alive.
Ben, whose 30th birthday is next week, had been playing outside a remote farmhouse his grandfather was renovating when he disappeared in July 1991.
His grandparents had moved to Kos for a new life and Ben’s mum, Kerry, had taken the toddler for a visit and was also considering moving to the island.
But while playing outside Ben vanished and sparked a missing person investigation spanning decades.
South Yorkshire Police has investigated a number of theories but in 2016 the force said it was the belief of detectives that Ben had been killed as a result of a digger clearing land close to where the toddler vanished.
Det Insp Jon Cousins said at the time: "During the course of the inquiries we have made over the last 19 months, we have closed off a large number of theories about what happened to Ben, many of which have been open for over 20 years.
"My team and I know that machinery, including a large digger, was used to clear an area of land on 24 July 1991, behind the farmhouse that was being renovated by the Needhams.
"It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing."
In a post on the official Find Ben Needham Facebook page last Wednesday, the family said: “It is now three years to the day since South Yorkshire Police ended their search on Kos and released the information that their conclusion is that Ben was involved in an accident and most probably died on the day he disappeared.
“This does not mean that the search for Ben ended there.
“Kerry, Leighanna and the whole Needham family still need to find Ben to bring him home.
“Somebody out there knows exactly where Ben is. Please do the decent humane thing and let the family have Ben home to rest. “This is not how it ends. It will only end when Ben is home.“It's not about revenge or making someone pay, it's about being Ben home where he belongs.”