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Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

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Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 09.11.11 11:16

Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police


by David Collins, Daily Mirror 9/11/2011


Detectives leading a cold case search for missing Ben Needham are to get hundreds of Greek witness statements translated into English.

One declaration is from a woman who claims to have seen a boy matching Ben’s description at Kos airport on the day he disappeared.

Ben was 21 months old when he went missing in 1991. It is believed he was abducted by a gypsy gang.


South Yorkshire Police is investigating and Ben’s mum, Kerry Grist, 39, of Sheffield, said: “I feel like things are really starting to happen.”

In August police in Greece pledged to reignite their search for Ben and vowed to make fresh enquiries.

Kerry was assured by a senior Greek prosecutor that they would leave “no stone unturned” in the case.

She said at the 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.

“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.”

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/2011/11/09/ben-needham-cold-case-is-reopened-by-british-police-115875-23547948/#ixzz1dCotfViL
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by opinionswapper on 09.11.11 12:22

that is really great news and i hope something comes of it and ben is found

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by aiyoyo on 09.11.11 16:16

Fantastic News.
Chances of finding him physically well and alive is good b/c investigators must be getting enough indication of that to renew the investigation and roping in UK police to cooperate.

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.

.

Sign of a truly missing living child where family lives in real hope of finding him, who never give up by constantly self funding multiple return trips to the place of disappearance to search . It's a case of doing everything they can by their constant efforts to wear down the authorities into reopening the case.

Such a vast difference from the mccanns who never return to PDL to search for themselves despite sitting on a vast amount of pubic donated money. Neither did they ever personally pressure the PJ to continue the search, not even a postage stamped letter request.
Why didn't they do it? Could it be b/c a reopening inevitably requires their total cooperation which they are unable to give without incriminating themselves as there's no avoiding the facts of the truth embedded in their conscious.


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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by zora-ann on 13.01.12 20:06

Although Kerry Needham has publicised her campaign to find Ben intermittently over the years, it can hardly be compared to what the McCanns have done - yet somehow Ben Needham has remained in the national consciousness all this time.

I can imagine Ben's whole life will be turned upside down if he is found and the road to reunion may not be easy, but needless to say, I hope for the best possible outcome for everyone concerned.

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 11:43

I followed this case and it certainly has a few loose similarities.

Abduction by gypsies, allegations of accidental death and stolen to order etc.

I am not sure what to think to be honest. However I do recall watching the documentary where the uncle was put under hypnosis. He didn't recall anything sinister but they chose to stop the process for some unknown reason when they started talking about the moped crash.

It was many years ago so my memory has faded some what, however I do believe one of the theories was the following. The uncle took Ben out on his moped, he had an accident which Ben may have been killed. Virtually next to the place where the uncle said he crashed the bike (he insists without Ben), there was a house being built and fresh concrete had been just filled into the extension. The concrete had been left to set and was unattended, when the builders returned they were sure it had been disturbed. I think it was a local policeman who said he was sure if that was dug up it would contain a body.

I personally don't know, in fact I hope it was nothing like that happened. Having family out in Greece I am baffled about these Gypsy links however. I have often seen gypsy camps around refuge dumps with the kids on top of the rubbish wearing rags and having no shoes. The kids go out begging for food, why on earth would gypsies need to steal more kids they can't even feed and cloth the ones they have!! In part of the documentary they filmed the family visiting gypsy camps asking about blonde haired boys that may have been asked for or sold. The gypsies had no problem locating blonde gypsy boys from their own brood, and quite happily offered them up for sale. Why would they need to steal them?

I remember the same stories in the UK when I was a child about gypsies stealing children. Today I put it in the same context as the bogey man.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by PeterMac on 16.01.12 12:17

And as I recall the uncle was still in his teens, (17 I think).
Edited to add
Yes. He was 17. Stephen.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Ben_Needham

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 16.01.12 12:29

I'm not sure of the relevance of the uncle's age but yes I think that's correct. I must admit to having doubts about this case right from the start. I think it is more likely that Ben had an accident and there were no strangers involved.

I don't think that his mother was involved though. Let's hope that the truth comes out one day.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by PeterMac on 16.01.12 13:12

For me the relevance is that as a 17 year old he might have been more inclined to do or say something silly and put himself in a position which he then found it impossible to get out of.
By that I mean without cold calculation; just a series of incidents and hurried actions without thought.
Don't know if that makes sense, but the use of the word "uncle" can sometimes seem to imply an age difference greater than 13 years.

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 16.01.12 13:24

I take your point PeterMac about a teenager possibly making a rash decision. However, as we know only too well, considerably older and apparently responsible people are also capable of digging themselves into a bottomless pit! There was also an 11-year-old uncle - one wonders what if anything was his part in the story.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 13:47

Just doing a Google search on this case and I see Murat fan has started a blog on it. Does that guy ever do anything else?
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 16.01.12 13:50

He's not a one trick pony then, our Murat fan! I shouldn't interest myself in what he does I know but what is his take on the Ben story?
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 13:56

Jean wrote:He's not a one trick pony then, our Murat fan! I shouldn't interest myself in what he does I know but what is his take on the Ben story?

The usual tripe, it's all Bennet's fault or words to that effect.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 16.01.12 13:59

He blames Tony Bennett for the disappearance of Ben Needham?????



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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 14:08

Jean wrote:He blames Tony Bennett for the disappearance of Ben Needham?????




No just attacking the parents but I can't see a shred of proof to back up his allegations.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by PeterMac on 16.01.12 14:37

Why would he need proof ?

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 14:41

@PeterMac wrote:Why would he need proof ?

No you are not getting me right. He is accusing Tony of attacking the Needham's. Murat Fans blog just has newspaper articles cop and pasted, no proof anyone has attacked the Needham's.

http://tonybennettmfblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/bennett-starting-to-attack-kerri.html
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 16.01.12 14:46

Ugh! Just off to disinfect myself after having a look at that link!
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 16.01.12 15:09

OMG, I just flicked through his blog it is endless!!!! Does this guy not work? If he does then his entire non-working time must be spent on the web writing stuff like this. Half of it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Although the funniest thing is that most pages have absolutely no comments or followers.

Why devote so much time to something which is clear nobody has any interest in?
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Guest on 18.10.12 7:08

Just heard on the radio that police are going to dig at the building site near where Ben went missing.
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Pershing36 on 18.10.12 7:21

Yes just seen it on the news. They are excavating the building site or the earth that was removed in the foundations I talked about in an earlier post.

They are taking ground radar, an expert team and Gerry's unreliable cadaver dogs.

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2012-10-18/new-search-for-ben-needham/
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by PeterMac on 18.10.12 7:24

@Pershing36 wrote:
They are taking ground radar, an expert team and Gerry's unreliable cadaver dogs.
If they are taking the dogs, they may as well give up now !
(Is that right C-R ?)

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Update from BBC

Post by uppatoffee on 18.10.12 7:42

18 October 2012 Last updated at 07:39

Ben Needham disappearance: Police to dig up land on Kos


British police are to help dig up land on a Greek island close to where Sheffield toddler Ben Needham disappeared 21 years ago.

Ben vanished on the island of Kos in July 1991, when he was 21 months old.

In May, his mother Kerry dismissed a report he could have died in a building site accident near the family's house.

Experts from police forces from across the UK have flown out to assist Greek authorities in their search of the area on Friday.

It is understood that Mrs Needham will arrive on Kos, supported by a police family liaison officer, during the search.

A dog trained to search for human remains will be used.

In May the Daily Mirror reported that Greek police believed Ben may have been buried under rubble near the farmhouse.

The newspaper said Greek police wanted to excavate the now-overgrown mound of earth and rubble on a property neighbouring the farmhouse which Mrs Needham's father was renovating at the time of her son's disappearance.

Mrs Needham told the BBC at the time: "I was horrified when I saw that. I know my son is alive and well and out there somewhere.

"That mound of rubble was already there when Ben was still there.

"I find it very, very unlikely that Ben is there, unless he buried himself."
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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by Da Troof on 18.10.12 9:31

Why are they using a dog? Don't they know they are "unreliable" whistling Wink

Seriously though, I have always been bothered by the Needham case. I never thought abduction was the most likely explanation.
I'm also surprised Ben's mother is still saying that she knows he is still alive and well. How can she "know" that? Or is it just a figure of speech?

Finally, I have always thought that the Needham case may have inspired the McC's abduction story. It would be ironic if it turned out that Ben was never abducted.

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Re: Ben Needham cold case is reopened by British police

Post by PeterMac on 18.10.12 9:50

Sadly the scenario that is now being checked is more likely than any other.

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