Family of missing Sheffield toddler Ben Needham explain why they think he is still alive

Ben Needham’s family have explained why they believe the missing toddler is still alive, as they seek to offer a £10,000 reward.

By Robert Cumber
Sunday, 5th September 2021, 2:07 pm

Ben was just 21 months old when he vanished on the Greek island of Kos, and police believe he died on July 24, 1991 in a tragic accident involving heavy machinery.

But his body has never been discovered and his mum, Kerry Needham, still holds out hope that he may be found alive.

The Help Find Ben Needham group set up by his family has now explained why more than 30 years on they remain determined to find the truth behind his disappearance.

Ben Needham and a digital portrait from 2012 showing how he might look as an adult (Tris Rossin/Family Handout)

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A lengthy update posted on the campaign page states that only a toy car believed to have been in Ben’s possession on the day he disappeared and a piece of leather which could have come from his sandal were ever found despite the site on which police believe he died being thoroughly excavated.

Blood found on the toy car did not match Ben’s DNA and not enough DNA could be extracted from the leather, say Ben’s family.

They believe a possible sighting in Corfu needs to be properly investigated.

“A young girl called Maria allegedly found a child on a beach near Roda in Corfu in summer 1991. The child was crying and with gypsies,” they said.

“Maria says she doesn't remember finding a child. However, various witness statements suggest Maria took the child to a local campsite where the boy was given a Coca Cola and answered questions in English with yes and no.

“Maria said she was going to take the boy to the police. Apparently, she did not. A couple of years later she told a witness she kept the boy and he now speaks Greek. Both witnesses have reported this lead over the years but it was never followed up. This is why we will NEVER give up. There is NO proof Ben died that day and this lead is more important than ever.”

Greek authorities confirmed earlier this year that they were following up information from new witnesses.

Ben’s family are trying to raise the money to offer a £10,000 reward, as they say ‘money talks’.