Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ben Needham search: Rubble tested and compared at dig sites

Digger machine
Image caption Forensics experts are to examine 20 piles of rubble at the second site, 750m from where Ben was last seen

Police searching for missing toddler Ben Needham on the Greek island of Kos have started analysing 20 piles of rubble at a second site.

Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he disappeared on 24 July 1991.

Samples at the second site 750m (820yd) from where he was last seen are being tested for a match with soil close to where the dig started last month.

Police are investigating claims Ben may have been accidentally run over by a digger driver 25 years ago.

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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Image caption Excavations began at the first digging site last month

Ben vanished from a farmhouse, which his grandfather was renovating, in the village of Iraklis.

Det Insp Jon Cousins said he believed "some material may have have been moved" from the property area and "could well be here".

Forensics experts were trying to establish whether soil at both locations matched, a spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said.

Image caption Eddie Needham (second from left) toured the area with police on Wednesday

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

Detectives 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 Tuesday.

A team of 19 South Yorkshire Police officers, forensic specialists and an archaeologist have been excavating the area for nearly two weeks as a result of a television appeal in May, which brought the theory about Mr Barkas to the attention of the force.

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