The mother of Ben Needham, the British toddler who vanished 27 years ago on an idyllic Greek island, has said fresh DNA tests have failed to produce a breakthrough.
Kerry Needham, 44, revealed that analysis of blood found inside a toy car last year had proved it does not belong to tragic Ben, who wandered off whilst at his grandparents villa aged 21 months in 1991.
She told the Daily Mirror: “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 would have given us closure and we would have been able to start the grieving process.
“When it came back negative it was a shock. I don’t know what to think now. Is Ben dead or is he still alive?”
Kerry and her family believe a conspiracy to conceal the truth about Ben’s disappearance runs deep on Kos, an island in the Mediterranean sea around 280 miles (450km) from the capital Athens.
She added: “I’m angry and I can’t stop shaking my head.
“Some people on Kos have been lying for 27 years and we’ve suffered years of torture, slow torture.”
South Yorkshire Police formally ended a search on the Greek island in October 2016, saying they believe Ben died as a result of an accident involving a digger on July 24 1991.
Despite extensive searches of two sites his body was not found.
A sandal linked to Ben was reportedly found in 2012 at the site where a local labourer, Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas, was operating a digger at the time the toddler vanished.
The car was discovered in 2016 at another spot after police were led there by an unnamed witness. That person is believed to have to have since stopped cooperating with police.
Barkas is believed to have died from stomach cancer in 2015 and his family vehemently deny he had any involvement in Ben’s disappearance.
Detective Chief Insp Jon Cousins, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Despite this forensic examination and result, it is still my professional belief based on all the evidence that Ben died as a result of a tragic incident at the farmhouse in Kos involving heavy machinery.
“We will continue to support Ben’s family and the Greek authorities, who retain primacy, should any further information come to light.”