Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Missing Ben Needham: More than 80 calls from EU countries

A poster of Ben Needham and a picture of him as a toddler Image copyright TRIS ROSSIN/PA
Image caption Ben Needham went missing from the Greek island of Kos in 1991

More than 80 calls with information about the disappearance of a toddler on a Greek island 24 years ago have been received by police after an appeal.

Ben Needham, from Sheffield, vanished when he was 21 months old during a 1991 family holiday on the island of Kos.

Det Insp John Cousins said people had contacted the inquiry team from Greece and "other areas of Europe" following the TV appeal in Greece.

The programme was watched by 60% of the Greek population.

Police appealed for information about Ben's disappearance and also for anyone who thought they could be him to come forward.

'Good new information'

A new image of what Ben could look like today, aged 25, has been created.

"We've had a lot of information which is consistent with information we've had before but we've also had a lot of good new information," Det Insp Cousins said.

"I have to follow every line of inquiry and I think this is the best opportunity we've had to find out what happened to Ben."

Over the coming weeks, members of the inquiry team will be travelling to Greece and elsewhere in Europe to speak to those who got in touch.

Some of them believe they might be Ben and police said DNA testing will take place.

Image caption Kerry Needham has always maintained her son is alive

Ben's mother Kerry Needham, who travelled to Greece with the inquiry team, said it had been "an emotional" few days.

She said: "I'm feeling positive. I'm optimistic, it was a huge success in Greece.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster but it's something I've got to do."

In January, the Home Office granted South Yorkshire Police £700,000 of funding to support the Greek authorities in continuing inquiries to find Ben.

Last year, a DNA test on a young man featured in video footage shot in Cyprus proved negative.

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