New information leads to search for toddler missing on Greek island since 1991
Police teams searching for missing toddler Ben Needham on the Greek island of Kos have said they are “optimistic” about new excavation work.
Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he disappeared on 24 July 1991 during a family holiday.
Digging has begun at a new site after a fresh line of inquiry suggested he could have been crushed by a digger.
South Yorkshire Police said it continued to keep an “open mind” about what happened to Ben.
The dig is expected to take 10 to 12 days, with the team of 19 expected to find “hundreds” of bones to be analysed.
Det Insp Jon Cousins, from SYP, said: “There are many lines of inquiry.
“I am keeping an open mind, but what I know at the moment with all the information we have, I’ve made the decision that it is necessary to do the work that we are going to be doing over the next week or so.” He added: “I am optimistic about the search taking place.” The new Greek led investigation, being supported by South Yorkshire police, was triggered by a friend of builder Konstantinos Barkas.
It was claimed Mr Barkas may have accidentally killed Ben while clearing land with an excavator close to where the toddler was playing on the day he vanished.
Mr Barkas reportedly died of stomach cancer last year, months before detectives from South Yorkshire Police arrived on the island for a renewed investigation.
His widow Varvara strongly dismissed any suggestions her late husband had killed Ben.