NEWS

Ben Needham's Mother, Kerry, 'Can't Say Goodbye' To Missing Son

'I want to tear up the whole island to find him'.

17/10/2016 08:08 | Updated 17 October 2016
AFP via Getty Images
Kerry Needham pictured on Kos in 2012.

UPDATE: Police say a “significant item” was found during search.

The mother of missing Ben Needham has said she feels “in limbo” and “can’t say goodbye” after the latest attempt to find clues about his fate was halted.

South Yorkshire Police has spent three weeks digging in a small area of arid farmland on the island of Kos near where the toddler was last seen in 1991.

Kerry has been urged by police to end her search for answers but can’t get closure as he is “still on that island somewhere”. 

Handout . / Reuters
Ben Needham.

Speaking to the Mirror, she added: “They know [Ben’s] dead but just can’t find him. Police said it’s time we ended our 25-year search”.

“They are right but I can’t say goodbye knowing he’s still on that island somewhere. I feel physically sick. I can’t feel any worse than I do.

“He didn’t leave Kos, he didn’t walk away ... Somebody didn’t take him, so he’s here somewhere. They believe he is there but they can’t dig in everyone’s gardens or homes that have been built over the years.

“I want to tear up the whole island to find him”.

Ben, from Sheffield, disappeared on July 24 1991 after travelling to Kos with his mother and grandparents.

A three-week search operation was prompted by information that digger driver Konstantinos Barkas, also known as Dino, may be responsible for the toddler’s death, as he was clearing land with an excavator near where Ben was playing on the day he vanished, reports the Press Association.

Chris McGrath via Getty Images
A South Yorkshire Police officer and a workman discuss moving rubble at a new second search site approximately 1km from the farmhouse search site of the missing toddler.

Mr Barkas is believed to have died from stomach cancer last year.

In September a search of another site had to be temporarily put on hold after the discovery of an ancient burial ground on the same land.

The tombs – of which there are “four or five” – are believed to be Roman and are covered in pottery believed to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old. The dig will continue around the plots, which are being examined by the Kos Archaeological Society. 

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said: “The physical search of two sites on Kos, Greece has formally come to an end.

“Work continues behind the scenes as officers begin to process the findings from each site.”

The force said a full update will be released from the team on the island at midday UK time on Monday.

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