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Ben Needham Case Reopened by Greek Police

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Ben Needham Case Reopened by Greek Police

Post by Gillyspot on 09.10.11 23:18

From Mirror Article

"DETECTIVES in Greece have pledged to reignite their search for Ben Needham – 20 years on from his disappearance as an angelic-faced toddler.

His mum Kerry Grist has just returned from Kos, where she met investigators who have vowed to make fresh enquiries.

Blond Ben went missing on the holiday island in 1991, aged 21 months, and it is suspected he was abducted by a gypsy gang and sold to a childless couple.

Kerry, 39, was assured by a senior Greek prosecutor that they would leave “no stone unturned” in the case. British police are also involved for the first time“I feel at last that someone is going to help me. I went home for the first time feeling that Ben is not forgotten,” Kerry said yesterday at her home in Sheffield. “I know he is out there, not necessarily in Greece but somewhere in the world.

“There has suddenly been a massive turnaround. Before, I have left the island disappointed, heartbroken by the lack of effort that the Greek police have put in.

“Now there is a different attitude and the case is wide open again. I left knowing that something is going to be done and hopefully it will lead to finding Ben.”

HOPES

She described how Greek cops spoke to her about “current” lines of investigation. “The word current is significant,” she said.

“I am not building up my hopes because they have been dashed in the past, but I am convinced I will find him. If he wasn’t still alive something in my defence mechanism would tell me that. It hasn’t – and I will never give up.”

Ben’s is one of the longest-running missing persons cases in British history but has never received the same level of publicity as Madeleine McCann’s 2007 disappearance.

He was snatched as he played outside a farmhouse his expat grandparents Eddie and Christine Needham were renovating while Kerry was at work at a local hotel.

The most recent lead came in July when a retired doctor came forward to reveal a boy fitting Ben’s description visited his hospital months after he disappeared.

Sotiris Papachristoforou said: “He was with a Greek woman and said his name was Ben. He was about two-and-a-half years old.”

The gynaecologist saw the boy again with a gypsy woman he knew could not have children. He said: “I was surprised because the child was not a gypsy.”

He said he reported his concerns to police at the time but they were not interested. He has now reported the incident again and Interpol is involved.

In another lead, it was suggested Ben may be in Germany after a Greek prisoner serving a sentence for armed robbery got in touch with Ben’s grandparents.

He claimed the boy had been abducted by a gypsy gang, taken to northern Greece and then on to Germany. But inquiries came to nothing and the probe fizzled out.

A number of images have been produced through the years showing how Ben would look at age 10, 13, 18 and now his current age of 21.

The most recent is a computer-generated image which was released in February in a campaign to rejuvenate efforts to find him.

Since Ben went missing, Kerry, who split from his dad Simon Ward, and her family have funded their own investigation, visiting Kos dozens of times.

New hope was raised when Kerry received a call inviting her back for a personal meeting. She flew out two weeks ago to see Greek investigators who have promised her they will launch a new search.

Kerry, who has a daughter Leighanna, 18, also told how she recently met Europe Minister David Lidington, her first meeting with a member of the British Government since Ben disappeared.

The case is in stark contrast to Gerry and Kate McCann’s who have had direct support from Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and David Cameron in their ongoing search for their daughter, who disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.


South Yorkshire Police also travelled to Kos recently for the first time to see what they can do to help.

Kerry said: “To have South Yorkshire Police in Greece for the first time working with local police who weren’t around 20 years ago and are new to the case is wonderful.”

Ben will be 22 on October 29 and Kerry will place a birthday card to him on the mantelpiece at her home – as she has done every year since his disappearance.

A spokesman for the Kos prosecutor said: “We cannot comment on our current lines of investigation as they are confidential.”

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/08/ben-needham-s-missing-persons-file-is-reopened-by-greek-authorities-115875-23474056/#ixzz1aKFVR1VY

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Kate McCann "I know that what happened is not due to the fact of us leaving the children asleep. I know it happened under other circumstances"
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Re: Ben Needham Case Reopened by Greek Police

Post by Guest on 10.10.11 8:19

I am feeling very cynical about this. If the McCann's are about to be thrust into the spotlight, they will need abother story in the press to support their own claims. I do not believe for one minute that a Greek Prosecutor would ever use the phrase 'no stone unturned', which also makes me think this is for the McCann's benefit. Perhaps someone should check this story out to see if it is genuine ?
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Re: Ben Needham Case Reopened by Greek Police

Post by Gillyspot on 10.10.11 10:09

You could be right Stella as there is nothing on Google Greece about it at all.

I did like the dig here though.

"The case is in stark contrast to Gerry and Kate McCann’s who have had direct support from Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and David Cameron in their ongoing search for their daughter, who disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007."

I imagine the McCanns weren't too happy reading this over their cornflakes.

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