Family of missing Ben Needham face delay in DNA results on items found in search

Ben Needham vanished when he was 21 months old
Ben Needham vanished when he was 21 months old

The family of missing Ben Needham from Sheffield is still waiting for DNA results on items recovered during digs on the Greek island of Kos where the toddler disappeared.

On the official Help Find Ben Needham page on Facebook, a post last week stated that tests on items found during excavation work 18 months ago could be taking time because of how long they were underground.

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A toy car which belonged to Ben was among the items found when South Yorkshire Police carried out excavation work on Kos, where Ben disappeared in July 1991.

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Ben was 21 months old when he disappeared from outside a farmhouse his grandfather was renovating.

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The youngster was playing outside when he vanished and his family always suspected that he had been abducted.

But in October 2016, South Yorkshire Police revealed that detectives believe Ben was killed by a digger which was clearing land near to the spot where Ben was last seen.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said at the time: "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."

The digger driver has been identified but is no longer alive.

Posting on the Help Find Ben Needham website, a family spokeswoman said: "We are still waiting for an update re the items found on the latest dig.

"As the items have been underground so long it could take sometime to extract DNA if there is any there.

"We ask you to please keep sharing Ben's story. Somebody out there knows exactly what happened to Ben.

"We are still 100 per cent committed to finding Ben and we will find him."

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said advances in technology are needed before any further tests can be carried out on the items found during excavation work on Kos.

He added: "We maintain regular contact with Ben's family and continue to make every effort to utilise all available opportunities which will provide the answers they seek."