The disappearance of Sheffield toddler Ben Needham

Ben Needham, who was just 21 months old, vanished on July 24, 1991, on the Greek island of Kos, as he played outside a remote farmhouse which was being renovated by his grandfather Eddie Needham. Ben had been taken there by his grandmother Kristine Needham while Ben’s Mom, Kerry Needham, was at work at a local hotel.

Ben Needham disappearance
Ben Needham aged 21 months, shortly before he went missing on the island of Kos in 1991

Over the years, the Needham Family travelled all over Europe following up leads, believing Ben had been taken from the island by a Greek family after a prisoner in a Greek jail claimed to know where Ben was, and who had taken him.

Ben Needham’s mother Kerry Needham
Ben Needham’s mother Kerry Needham holds a newspaper story about her missing son in a 1991 photo.

But the prisoner’s story was a lie ― and the theory about kidnapping was finally quashed by South Yorkshire Police, who had secured a Home Office grant to try to solve the case.

Government intervention allowed two excavations of the farmhouse, in 2012 and 2016, but no physical trace of Ben was found. A scrap of leather sandal and a toy car, thought to belong to Ben, were discovered, but his DNA was not present.

South Yorkshire Police said in 2016 that it was their professional belief that Ben had died on the day he went missing ― killed in an accident with a digger driven by a local man named Konstantinos Barkas who died in 2015. Though Barkas’ family vehemently refute the allegation that he was involved.

Without physical evidence, the Needham family is still desperate for information about their child Ben ― and believe there are people on the island who have still not come forward.