‘Operation Ben’… Greek TV show spawns new leads

Kerry Needham’s search has been relentless as she now appeals to an adult Ben to recognize himself as the lost toddler

South Yorkshire police said that the appeal made by Ben Needham’s mother on a three-hour Greek TV show – “Light at the End of the Tunnel” – resulted in a number of calls concerning the disappearance of little Ben 24 years ago while on holiday on the island of Kos, Greece. One of the leads concern the claim by a man who believes that it could be him and who is willing to undergo DNA tests.

Kerry Needham, Ben’s mother, spoke about the unsuccessful DNA tests that have already been carried out on other people. Each test has been heart-breaking.

“Please end the pain that my family is suffering,” said Kerry Needham on the show. “I know he’s out there somewhere. Please call the police and please put an end to this.” 20 calls and e-mails reached the show after it aired.

21-month-old Ben was playing around his grandparents’ home at the village of Iraklise, Kos, when he disappeared at 2.30 p.m. on July 24, 1991. He was being supervised by his grandparents while they were renovating their home. On that day, his mother went to work at a local hotel.

For the first time, Kerry Needham met with the British ambassador in Greece for the first time in 23 years to discuss her son’s case as part of the launch of ‘Operation Ben’. In January, South Yorkshire police were granted 700,000 pounds to support the Greek authorities in continuing investigations to help find the missing boy.