Mum of missing Ben Needham believes he is dead

Ben Needham
Ben Needham
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The mum of missing Ben Needham from Sheffield fears her son will not be found alive.

Kerry Needham told ITV's Good Morning Britain that she and her family are 'tired and distressed' and cannot live for another 25 years without knowing what happened to Ben, who vanished 25 years ago.

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

His mum revealed her fears as police officers began the third week of a search for the remains of Ben close to where he was last seen alive.

They are working on the theory that he may have been accidentally crushed by a digger clearing a building plot close to where Ben was playing.

Detectives have told Ben's family to 'prepare for the worst'.

Kerry said: "I think it really now is a case of finding him not alive.

"We can't live another 25 years like this, my parents can't and I can't. It's not the best solution but it will eventually lay it to rest for us, we're all extremely tired and distressed."

She added: "Twenty-five years living and not knowing where your child is, is torment. I don't like to say it but then at least we would know and it would be closure and he can be laid to rest and we can remember him as he was."

Mrs Needham said it was an 'agonising wait every day' for news from the police.

She said: "Every time the phone rings you think 'is this going to be the one with the bad news? It's stressful, it's frustrating, it's painful but we're trying to stay as strong as we possible can."

She thanked South Yorkshire Police officers for their efforts.

She said: "We wouldn't have got this far without South Yorkshire Police. They've been fantastic and they've tried to do this as painlessly as possible and they've tried to find those answers for us and we need those answers good or bad and unfortunately it looks like it's going to be a bad outcome but we'll just try to get on with everything."