UK & World News
Missing Ben Needham: New Search To Begin
A team of British experts are expected to begin their search today for the body of Ben Needham who went missing 21 years ago on the Greek island of Kos.
Ben vanished on the island in July 1991 when he was 21 months old after his mother and grandparents moved there from Sheffield.
Despite a number of possible sightings and a range of theories about what happened, no trace of him has ever been found.
The new search, led by South Yorkshire Police, is to be centred on a large, grassy mound close to where the youngster went missing.
It is close to a farmhouse next to the one his grandparents were renovating in 1991.
One theory is that the mound consists of building material dumped there the day Ben vanished and that he could have been accidentally buried beneath it.
JCB operators working there at the time have now told police some of the rubble was not searched properly.
Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, who has spent two decades looking for her son and has consistently said she believes he was abducted and is still alive, told the Daily Mirror she is praying the police dig fails to find him.
"If they find his bones my life will be finished," she told the paper.
In previous interviews, Mrs Needham, 41, has said she believes the mound was already there when Ben disappeared.
Earlier this year, she said: "I find it very, very unlikely that Ben is there, unless he buried himself."
South Yorkshire police said their search would involve the use of geophysical ground examination equipment and search dogs. They will also be helped by a a forensic archaeologist.
The operation is expected to last a week to 10 days and follows a Greek police request for specialist support.