Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Missing Ben Needham’s mother seeks answers after boy’s body found in river

The mother of Ben Needham, the British toddler who disappeared from a Greek island more than 30 years ago, has urged UK police to launch an investigation after a boy’s body was found in a German river.

Kerry Needham, who has never accepted her son is dead, has contacted South Yorkshire Police after seeing an Interpol appeal aimed at identifying the child, whose body was apparently dumped in the River Danube.

Ben, aged 21 months, went missing on Kos in 1991 – and while the boy found in Bavaria in 2022 is thought to be between five and six, Ms Needham, 51, still thinks UK officers need to contact German counterparts.

She told The Mirror: “I am hoping our British police will check this out and contact the German officers about this.

“We need to rule it out. I’ve always said all along that I don’t believe he’s died.”

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In its appeal, Interpol described the boy as 3ft 6 inches tall and weighing roughly 2st 4lbs.

He had brown hair, and the body was wrapped in foil and weighed down with a heavy flagstone.

Interpol has also released a digital reconstruction of the boy and believe he make have been trafficked – although it is unclear how long the body had been in the water.

Ms Needham added: “The reconstruction has a look of Ben. I never realised how child trafficking is so rife and massive.

“I spoke to a man this week who was trafficked out of Greece in the 1950s.

“It is still happening today in Greece but very underground.”

Jurgen Stock, Interpol’s secretary general, admitted it was “unusual to have a child’s body go unidentified for this long”.

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“Through this Black Notice, INTERPOL is calling upon the global law enforcement community to cross-check databases and consult open or unsolved cases.”

“Someone, somewhere knows something about this boy, making it equally important to release certain details publicly.

“Whether he was the victim of trafficking, abduction or violence, we are committed to mobilizing all of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities to identify him and help investigators shed light on his death.”

South Yorkshire Police have a sample of Ben’s DNA and carried out two digs in Kos in 2016, believeing toddler died as a result of a digger accident, after which his body was hidden.

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