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Thread: Ben Needham (21 months) missing 24th July 1991

  1. #1
    Senior Member Hayalet's Avatar
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    Ben Needham (21 months) missing 24th July 1991

    The disappearance of Ben Needham occurred on 24 July 1991 when the twenty-one-month-old boy went missing on the Greek island of Kos. Ben Needham (born on 29 October 1989 in Sheffield, United Kingdom) is the son of Kerry Needham (born 1971) and her boyfriend Simon. Ben has a strawberry type birthmark in the nape of his neck.

    Ben Needham had been holidaying with his parents on Kos (to where his maternal grandparents had emigrated) in the village of Iraklise when he went missing on 24 July 1991. His mother Kerry Needham also planned to permanently move to Kos with Ben to be near her parents Eddie and Christine Needham and brothers Stephen and Danny, then aged seventeen and eleven respectively.

    On the day of his disappearance, Ben had been left in the care of his grandparents while his mother went to work at a local hotel. The child had been playing near the doorway of the family's farmhouse as the adults were having lunch and his grandmother had only taken her eyes off him for a few minutes when it was discovered he was gone, sometime around half past two in the afternoon.

    The family first searched the area for Ben, assuming he had wandered off or their teenage son Stephen had taken him out on his moped but, when there was no trace found of the little boy, the police were notified. However, the police extensively questioned the Needhams, holding them as prime suspects, and delayed in informing airports and docks of Ben's disappearance and widening their search for the child. A shop assistant had seen Ben on the evening of his disappearance with an older boy but this lead was not followed up until it was too late to trace the boys.

    It is the belief of the Needham family that Ben was kidnapped with the intention of either being sold for adoption or taken by child traffickers. However, there is no evidence to support this theory and some observers consider an accident to be a legitimate alternative scenario.
    False hopes
    There have been over three hundred sightings of boys matching Ben's description reported, both on the Greek mainland and on Greek islands, most called in shortly after his disappearance during the period of 1991 to 1992. And there were also number of instances where it looked as if the mystery had been solved. In late 1995, private investigator Stratos Bakirtzis found a blond boy, aged around six years old, to be living with a Gypsy family in a camp located in Salonika, Greece. The child claimed he had been given to the Gypsies after being abandoned by his biological parents and his adoptive mother claimed to have bought the boy from another Gypsy. But there was no evidence found to suggest this was Ben.

    In 1998, British holidaymaker John Cookson saw a blond boy of about ten playing on a beach in Rhodes. Cookson said that the child was known as 'the blond one' by his friends and was the only fair-haired child in the mix of dark-haired Greek children. Suspicious, he took photographs of the children and pretended to tousle the boy's head to acquire a hair sample for DNA analysis.[4] However, DNA testing proved the boy was not Ben, and the Greek boy's family also provided infant photographs and a birth certificate to prove he was their child.

    Recent events

    In 2003, shortly before the twelfth anniversary of Ben's abduction, South Yorkshire police launched a fresh bid for information in locating Ben and the Metropolitan Police Facial Imaging Team used age progression techniques to alter a toddler photograph of Ben to how it would look when he was thirteen years old.With Ben now in his late teens, the case remains open.

    Kerry Needham moved back to Britain in September 1991, unable to settle in the island that saw her losing her baby son. She briefly reunited with Ben's father Simon and they had a second child Leighanna (b. 1994). In 2003, she hired Welsh investigator Ian Crosby to help with the case and he made a visit to Kos with Ben's uncle Danny. Crosby is also involved in investigating a photograph, sent to him by a holidaymaker who visited Turkey in 1999, which depicts a number of Turkish village children, including a blond boy who resembles the age-progression photo of what Ben might look like aged thirteen. Despite having spent £20,000 flying over the world chasing leads in her son's disappearance, Kerry is certain that she will one day be reunited with Ben.

    What Ben might look like now-

    His mum talking about her case compared with the macanns-

    Her on sky news

  2. #2
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Damn. So many old missing cases are having sudden breakthroughs this year - & all of them have been horrible breakthroughs

    Kerry Needham has been warned the body of her missing son Ben could be discovered in fragments.

    And the distraught mum, 43, is terrified by the thought he suffered a painful death.

    Police fear the toddler was crushed by the giant wheels of a digger. As she waited for detectives to dig for Ben, Kerry said her ?worst nightmare is coming?.

    She added: ?They?ve told me they may not be looking for a complete skeleton.

    I felt sick. This wasn?t happening to me. It wasn?t like it was real life. It was, and still is, an unimaginable horror.

    Digger driver at centre of Ben Needham police probe was successful businessman who 'knew everyone on the island'

    The fact that he is dead [would] destroy me, but if it was a painful and horrible death that would crucify me even more.?

    Officers from South Yorkshire Police will be joined by a bone expert as they follow up a lead from a new witness following an appeal on Greek television earlier this year.

    In a further heartbreaking twist, it has emerged they will be looking for a little silver buckle from Ben ?s brown sandals.

    They are the same shoes he was pictured wearing as he posed on his uncle Stephen?s moped, just weeks before he vanished.

    Devastated Kerry fears she may not survive the latest sickening turn in the 25-year search for her missing child.

    Ben vanished on July 24, 1991, outside a farmhouse on the Greek island of Kos as he was being cared for by his grandparents.

    We exclusively revealed how British officers fear he may have been the victim of an accident involving a digger driver who was moving earth nearby.

    Kerry said: ?They think he could have been crushed under the giant tread of the digger.

    They say they have found that machine and sat in it. They said it was huge and you can?t see on the ground.?

    The new witness claimed Konstantinos ?Dino? Barkas told him that he may have had an accident involving Ben.

    The Greek national said Dino, who died last April, was digging in one spot and dumping his rubble in another.

    Kerry said: ?According to the witness he?d seen Ben that day, running around with just a T-shirt on.

    ?Apparently he thought to himself, ?that?s dangerous? ? but he didn?t think to alert the digger driver or my mum and dad??

    It is believed the witness has shown police two areas of land which were not searched in 2012.

    Now, Kerry is bracing herself as police prepare to search new locations for her 21-month-old son.

    She said: ?My worst feeling as a mother is thinking your child suffered or is suffering.

    "If this is true, I pray it was instant and that he wasn?t buried alive and hurting.

    Last time I was happy they were doing the dig because we were 100% sure there hadn?t been an accident and we were finally proving to the Greek police he?d been abducted.

    ?But this time I think I?ve got to believe it. Something feels different. The police are different. I think he?s dead.?

    Breaking down in tears, she added: ?Now I?m thinking, if there was an accident was he buried alive? Did he bleed to death? Was he suffering? Was he hurting and calling for his mummy??

    Kerry pauses to fight the waves of nausea she has been feeling since police told her they wanted to dig in Kos again.

    She continued: ?I have to stop myself thinking. The police said they don?t want me to go through those different scenarios, but how can you not??

    She also fears for how she and her family will cope if little Ben?s body is found.

    Kerry said: ?My stomach is churning all the time and we have so long to wait.

    "My mother?s instinct has told me Ben is alive and well all these years. How can you rely on mother?s instinct now?

    ?This is all I?ve known since being a teenager. My life has been looking for Ben. What do I do now? I feel lost.

    ?Will I survive it? All these things are going round and round in my head. What will it do to my mum and dad??

    Recalling the day her son disappeared, she went on: ?My last memories of Ben is taking him to my mum?s caravan that morning before I went to work. He was playing inside the caravan.

    ?He was being a typical toddler, running around, preferring to go outside to play.

    ?He was happy. Ben was very mischievous, always wanted to be the centre of attention and always wanted to make people laugh.

    ?But he was a bugger for running off. There was no fear of anything at all.?

    Later, her mum Christine took Ben to see his grandfather Eddie at the farmhouse they were renovating.

    In the middle of the afternoon, Ben vanished as he played outside. Kerry spoke of her terror as the search went on that night.

    She said: ?I was scared for him and frantic because it was dark. Not knowing what had happened. We thought he was lost and hiding somewhere.

    ?The last 25 years is like living a nightmare you can?t wake up from, and a rollercoaster ride you can?t get off.

    ?I feel so terrible for my parents. They are blaming themselves anyway. If they see me going insane or self destruct they will blame themselves even more.?

    And Kerry fears sinking to the terrifying depths she reached in her early 20s, when she took an overdose.

    She said: ?I took a handful of anti-depressants, but a friend found me and made me sick. I didn?t want to die, I wanted the pain to stop.

    ?I?m always afraid of feeling like that again, so I fix myself by reminding myself how bad my depression was and say, ?Do you want to put your family through that? They?ve had enough?.?

    She added: ?I?ve not had one peaceful night?s sleep since Ben went missing.

    ?It?s the not knowing that kills you inside, day after day after day. I still have hope but is it the hope that kills you??

  3. #3
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    British police seek toddler missing for 25 years on Greek island

    British police began excavations in a field on a Greek island on Monday, saying they had new leads in the disappearance of a British toddler there 25 years ago.

    The team began sifting through mounds of earth using a giant sieve. Excavations are expected to continue for days and possibly weeks, with British and Greek forensic archaeologists involved.

    South Yorkshire Police, leading the investigation, said they would focus their attention on two sites on the island of Kos close to where Ben Needham was last seen on July 24, 1991.

    Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said new information on the case surfaced in May, following a public appeal to Kos residents.

    "I have made a decision that there is a very valid and good reason for us to be doing the activity that we are doing here today," Cousins said on the site, an olive grove sealed off by blue-and-white police tape.

    "I would not be doing that if I was not optimistic that we are going to find something of significance that hopefully will provide an answer for Ben's family."

    He would not comment on British newspaper reports that the child may have been accidentally crushed by a builder's digger.

    Asked whether he believed Ben was dead, Cousins replied: "There are many other lines of inquiry in relation to this that are still ongoing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Killingtime's Avatar
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    This case was always on my mind when my boys were little and playing outside. I couldn't comprehend how fast a child could vanish. To think it may have been accident... Wow

  5. #5
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Fabric found in search for missing Ben Needham in Kos

    He said: "We found, as expected, a vast number of bones yesterday. Each one was examined immediately, and each one was discounted there and then as being an animal bone.

    "There are some other items that are of slight interest - the odd piece of fabric. That is being analysed and looked at, but there is slight interest.

    "Everything is being carefully looked at."

    He added: "We want to make sure: do they or do they not relate to any of the items Ben was wearing on that day?"

    Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, has been told to "prepare for the worst" by investigators, who now suspect her son may have died in an accident on the day he vanished.

    The toddler was wearing a white and green shirt and a pair of leather sandals when he went missing on 24 July, 1991.

    The items have been forensically collected and photographs taken and sent to colleagues in the UK before a decision is made on whether they will need further examination and testing.

  6. #6
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Ben Needham's sister says she fears her missing brother will never be found... as search is HALTED after landowner demands police stop digging at Greek farmhouse where toddler vanished

    Landowner Stefanos Troumouhis, 33, made an attempt to block the search after a 1,500-year-old burial site was discovered next to the Iraklis farmhouse.

    Police were forced to leave the site for three hours - but the search is now 'back up and running' after officers negotiated with Mr Troumouhis.

    Earlier on Friday, Detective Inspector Jon Cousins from South Yorkshire Police spoke to reporters about the concerns raised.

    'I was approached on Thursday by Stefanos Troumouhis the owner of the land on which we are conducting the search to find answers for Ben's family and the people of Kos,' he said.

    'He raised with me concerns about the discovery about what appeared to be ancient tombs.

    'My priority is to ensure that disruption to the operation that my team is running remains at an absolute minimum.'

    Just hours before the announcement, Leighanna spoke about how her family has spent the past 25 years 'begging' for people to come forward with information.

    'There's been times when my mum, my nan and me have been there [Kos], campaigning, asking, begging, people to come forward with information to end this.

    'My one dream would be to find Ben for my mum. I felt in a way that I owe it to her. I'm her daughter and she misses her son, she wants her son,' she said.

    'None of us want to believe that they're going to find something there, because that's 25 years of fighting and pain and hurt that could have been ended 25 years ago.

  7. #7
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    Ben Needham cops abandon search for missing toddler in Kos
    Cops ended the search today after a three-week hunt for information on the toddler, who went missing in 1991.

    It comes after police said they have found no significant clues in their search.

    Officers from South Yorkshire Police finished searching their primary site on the Greek island of Kos, where Ben went missing in 1991, last week.

    A search of a second site continued up until today, but lead investigator Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said nothing significant has been found.

    Ben’s mum Kerry today thanked “hero” police as their search ended.

    She told the Sunday Mirror she agrees with their theory her 21-month-old son was crushed with a digger and buried.

    Speaking about lead detective Det Insp Jon Cousins, she said: “He will never give up the hunt for the truth in the years he has remaining as a detective.”

  8. #8
    Senior Member bermstalker's Avatar
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    BREAKING: Ben Needham detective says officers found a 'significant item' in Kos and it is their belief he died in an accident. Terrible news for his family.

    But one item found on October 15 was said to be of 'greater significance' and was believed to have been in Ben's possession on the day he went missing on July 24 1991.
    However, DI Cousins refused to reveal what exactly had been discovered.
    Speaking at the scene, Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said: 'My team and I know that machinery, including a large digger, was used to clear an area of land on 24 July 1991, behind the farmhouse that was being renovated by the Needhams. It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing.
    The events leading up to and following that incident have been explored by my team of experts to great lengths. The fact that we have not had a direct result during this visit to Kos does not preclude the facts that we know to be true.
    'An item found on Saturday, which I have shown personally to some of Ben's family, was found in one of the targeted areas at the second site, very close to a dated item from 1991.
    'It is our initial understanding that this item was in Ben's possession around the time he went missing.'

    Read more:
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  9. #9
    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    Good grief. After all this time I hope that mother can finally get some closure. At least it sounds like she's getting closer to it, anyway. So many cases never see closure. Far too many parents die without ever finding out what happened to their missing children.
    Don't like what I have to say? I respect that. Now go fuck yourself.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    That is sad but as Kevan said, hopefully there can be some closure for his mom/family now.

  11. #11
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    BEN Needham's mum has called on the person with a "secret" about her missing toddler to come forward - 28 years after he vanished.

    Kerry Needham insists it's "never too late to do the right thing" as she longs for closure.

    Ben Needham disappeared while on the island of Kos, Greece, in July 1991

    Cops believe Ben was killed after being hit by a digger while playing with a toy car, which was discovered during a dig on the island last year.

    Devastated Kerry poured her emotion in a heartbreaking Facebook post.

    She said: “28 years today. 28 years someone has held a secret. It's never too late to do the right thing.”

    Kerry added: “It’s now 28 years since Ben disappeared from our lives and we still have no closure.

    “We are still in hope that one day someone will come forward and give us the information we so desperately need.

    “We would like to thank everyone for their continued love and support.”

    In 2016, detectives from South Yorkshire police travelled to Kos in a renewed attempted to finally discover what had happened to Ben.

    Kerry was given fresh hope when they unearthed both a sandal and a toy car specked with tiny drops of blood.

    But the devastated mum’s hopes were dashed last November, when forensic tests revealed that it did not match Ben’s DNA.

    At the time, Kerry said: “If that blood is not Ben’s – then who does it belong to? It’s devastating.

    “We had built ourselves up thinking it would be a positive result and would prove Ben had died.”

    It has long been assumed that Ben died in a digger accident.

    Speaking in April this year, Kerry said she believed his little body was taken to a second site and hidden in an oil drum after the tragedy.

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