Items found in Ben Needham search show 'potential signs of human decomposition' say police

Ben Needham
Ben Needham

Detailed forensic work is continuing after human blood has reportedly been found on a toy car and sandal believed to have belonged to missing Sheffield toddler Ben Needham.

The 21-month-old toddler went missing on the Greek island of Kos 26 years ago today.

DI Jon Cousins from South Yorkshire Police

DI Jon Cousins from South Yorkshire Police

South Yorkshire Police said they believed Ben died as a result of an accident involving a digger on July 24 1991.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said the new findings further strengthened this theory.

He said: "Our drive has always been Ben’s family and their welfare, and to be able to provide them with a full and thorough account of the events which we know to have taken place, and also discount any speculations over Ben’s disappearance, 26-years-ago today.

“Based on the facts and the information obtained, as previously stated it is still my professional belief that Ben died as a result of a tragic incident at the farmhouse involving heavy machinery.

“There has been a thorough and comprehensive review of all the information and evidence gathered, with on-going forensic work and pioneering, scientific techniques conducted on items recovered from Kos during the searches.

“The result of this work has recently revealed a development forensically, with early examinations indicating potential signs of human decomposition.

“Detailed forensic work is continuing in an attempt to abstract possible DNA, with a view to determine whether or not it relates to the investigation.

“The family have been informed of the development and we will continue to support them, as well as assisting the Greek authorities who retain primacy for the investigation with in any ongoing enquiries."

Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, said said the discovery is evidence of a cover-up in the disappearance of her son, who was staying at his grandparents' farmhouse on the Greek island.

The sandal was reportedly found in 2012 at the site where Konstantinos 'Dino' Barkas was operating a digger, while the toy car was discovered last year at another spot.

Mr Barkas is believed to have died from stomach cancer in 2015.

Despite extensive searches of two sites Ben's body has never been found.