Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ben Needham search moves to second site

Digger machine
Image caption The search teams, now in their 11th day of excavations, have moved to a second site

Police searching for missing toddler Ben Needham on the Greek island of Kos have started digging at a second site.

Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he disappeared from near a farmhouse in Iraklis on 24 July 1991.

The site, which is 750m from where he was last seen, is close to where officers started digging last month.

They were clearing an area where it is believed a digger driver may have accidentally run Ben over on the day he disappeared.

Officers are working on the theory that Konstantinos Barkas, who died of cancer in 2015, might be responsible for Ben's death.

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Det Insp Jon Cousins said the search at the second site was of "great significance" and would take four days.

"It is at a different site to the farmhouse but I understand from what other people are telling me... that some material is believed to have been moved from that area and could well be here," he said.

Image caption Excavations have started at a second site about half a mile from where Ben was last seen

Mr Cousins said the searches, which have now been taking place for nearly two weeks, would continue in the area around the farmhouse.

"There are still primary sites here [at the farmhouse] that I need to make sure we go through. But I do think it's important to start work on the second site as well."

Image caption The second site is 750m from where Ben was last seen in the village of Iraklis

On Wednesday, Ben's grandfather Eddie Needham spent about two hours with police touring the area when the toddler was last seen.

Mr Needham was renovating the farmhouse when his grandson went missing and police hoped he would be able to explain how the site looked at the time.

An extension of the building, added since Ben's disappearance, was demolished on Wednesday.

A team of 19 South Yorkshire Police officers, forensic specialists and an archaeologist have been excavating the area as a result of a television appeal earlier this year which brought the theory about Mr Barkas to the attention of the force.

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