LATEST: Farmhouse demolition starts in search for remains of Ben Needham

Ben Needham
Ben Needham
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Demolition work is underway on a farmhouse where missing Ben Needham was last seen alive.

Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he vanished while he was playing outside a farmhouse his grandfather was renovating on the Greek island of Kos in 1991.

The team searching for his remains, following a tip off, want to check the land underneath an extension to the farmhouse which was built after Ben disappeared.

Negotiations were carried out with the family which owns the farmhouse and agreement was reached for the extension built after Ben's death to be demolished.

For the last week, officers have been searching land close to the farmhouse where a digger was working on the day Ben went missing.

They are working on the theory that he may have been accidentally crushed and buried.

The digger driver died last year but a friend suggested to South Yorkshire Police that he may have been responsible for Ben's disappearance.

Ben's mum, Kerry Needham, who has always believed that her son was abducted, has been told to 'prepare for the worst'.

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Police granted permission to partially demolish house in search for remains of Ben Needham

Today, Detective Inspector Jon Cousins, leading the search, said the family which owns the farmhouse has agreed for part of it to be demolished.

He said: "This is day nine of the search. My focus remains exactly the same. We continue to look for the answers for the family and the people of Kos."

DI Cousins said the demolition work and land search are needed to ensure officers do not miss 'any opportunity' to solve the mystery around Ben's disappearance.

He said the search team is finding items on a 'daily basis' which are being analysed 'to see whether or not they bear any interest in relation to what happened to Ben'.