30-year mystery: Police probe claims Ben Needham could be alive after being ‘found on beach’

A mother has been given new hope with Greek police probing claims Ben Needham could still be alive after three witnesses came forward with startling new information.

Ben, who was just 21 months old at the time, went missing on July 24, 1991, on the Greek island of Kos.

For 30 years his mother Kerry has been holding on to hope that one day she would have conclusive answers to what happened to him.

Now, more than 30 years on, three witnesses have come forward claiming to have spotted a blonde boy who was found the same year he went missing on a beach more than 900km away.

“I feel like I’m a tree in the middle of a tornado. I’m desperately trying not to get my hopes up but I can’t stop thinking about it. I woke up this morning shaking,” Kerry told The Mirror.

UK Police believe Ben died in a digger accident and carried out searches near the farmhouse he was last seen.

Speaking at the time, then Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said: “My team and I know that machinery, including a large digger, was used to clear an area of land on 24 July 1991, behind the farmhouse that was being renovated by the Needhams.

“It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing.”

However, Kerry says police have “not a shred of evidence” to back their theory up.

“And while there is no evidence to show me, I have to believe he is still alive.”

New witness testimonies claim they found a boy with blonde hair wearing a white T-shirt, speaking English and “crying desperately”.

It is claimed a female kitchen-hand found the boy as she arrived at work. She was seen holding the boy’s hand at a local campsite, saying she found him on the beach with a family of gypsies.

She took the boy to work in the hope his family might have been among the Scandinavian or Germans staying on site.

However, when it didn’t come to fruition, she kept the child for herself instead of going to police, The Mirror reported.

In 2017, the first supposed witness came forward, contacting the Help Find Ben Needham Facebook group.

The witness claimed he and his cousin, both under 16 at the time, had seen a boy in the early 90s.

The first witness said: “He was very dirty and only wearing a white T-shirt. He was crying and very distressed.

“The boy was taken to the bar and given Coca Cola to stop crying – I remember because we were not allowed to drink Coca Cola.

“He was also wearing a nappy. He was between 1 and 2 years old.”

A third witness, Dalida Messian, saw the boy separately as a receptionist at the now-closed campsite.

She told ITV Calendar: “I can’t get the image out of my head, how distraught he was and snotty, it’s haunted me ever since.”

Messian said she was shown a photo of Ben for the first time in February and believes the boy in Corfu is “the same person”.

Following the witness statements, Kerry is now holding out hope it could lead her to her long-lost son.

“Apparently she [the teenager holding Ben’s hand] never came back to work after that and, when the witnesses saw her a few years later she said ‘I kept the child for myself’.

“Apparently the boy speaks Greek and still lives in the area.”

Kerry has since reached out to the woman over Facebook, but was left frustrated when the woman claimed she did not remember.

“Four people now remember her finding a child. The fourth was the owner of the campsite but he died two days after we contacted him.”

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