23/08/2012 12:20 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Police To Dig Up Land On Kos Where They Believe Ben Needham Was Buried

Police to dig up land on Kos where they believe Ben Needham was buried PA

It's been 21 years since British toddler Ben Needham went missing from the Greek Island of Kos - and his mother, Kerry Needham, still believes that he's alive.

She has continued to hunt for her missing son, circulating a computer generated picture showing how he would look as an adult (pictured above, right).

But now British police have reopened the case and fear that Ben - who was 21-months-old when he disappeared in July 1991 - may have been accidentally buried under a pile of rubble, which is now covered over by grass.

He went missing on the afternoon of July 24, 1991, after his mum left him with her parents while she went to work at a hotel.

Ben's grandparents, Eddie and Christine Needham, took him to a farmhouse belonging to their friend, Michaelis Kypreos, where they ate lunch as Ben played outside.

When they realised he'd gone quiet they went to look for him - but he had disappeared without a trace.

The Mirror reports that police now think the most credible explanation is that his body could have been covered up with earth dumped by a JCB driver who was digging up a site near where Ben disappeared. For this reason, police are now hoping to use 3D scanning equipment to search the ground for his bones.

A cold case team flew over to meet with Greek police in recent weeks, and South Yorkshire police confirmed that talks over a dig are already underway.

A statement said: "Discussions are ongoing as to a further search in the area where Ben went missing."

Kerry Needham, 40, admitted that the prospect of the dig is "soul destroying" and "heart wrenching", but is confident that Ben's remains won't be found.

She told The Mirror: "Once they have done it and not found Ben, the Greek police and everyone else in the world will know my son's alive. Then we can have a big manhunt."

"South Yorkshire Police have reopened the case and are going back to day one. They have started from scratch. They have gone through everything the Greek police did not do in the first place. I am confident they will get to the bottom of this."

The Home Office would have to consider funding an excavation organised by South Yorkshire Police, although police chiefs have yet to make a formal request.