Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Missing Ben Needham: Police to return to Greece

A poster of Ben Needham and a picture of him as a toddler
Image caption An artist's impression (left) shows Ben who disappeared in 1991, as he may look now

Detectives have pledged to return to Greece to investigate a number of leads in the disappearance of Sheffield toddler Ben Needham.

Ben was 21 months old when he went missing while on a family holiday on the Greek island of Kos in 1991.

His mother Kerry appealed for help to find him on Greek television in May.

On the 24th anniversary, police said they would return to the country "over the coming months" after receiving 200 calls in response to the TV appeal.

Det Insp Jon Cousins, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "There are several lines of inquiry that I'm looking at.

"There will be further visits to Greece to speak to other people I believe are significant and have some knowledge as to what happened."

He added that officers "will be visiting Greece over the coming months".

Earlier this year, South Yorkshire Police was granted Home Office funding to support the Greek authorities in continuing inquiries to find Ben.

Image caption Kerry Needham has always maintained her son is alive

Ben's mother, Kerry, travelled to Athens with South Yorkshire Police to appear on a missing persons programme.

The television programme, whose English translation is Light at the End of the Tunnel, broadcasts to about 50% of the Greek TV audience.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office previously said: "We have the deepest sympathies with Ben Needham's family and continue to offer them consular support.

"We are following this case closely and will fully assist South Yorkshire Police wherever possible."

Ben vanished on 24 July, 1991, after travelling to Kos with his mother and grandparents, who were renovating a farmhouse in the village of Iraklise.

In 2013, a DNA test carried out on a man in Cyprus proved he was not Ben.

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