Police to dig up ground in search for Ben Needham

Ben Needham vanished on the island of Kos in July 1991 when he was 21 months old. Credit: PA Wire

British police investigating the disappearance of toddler Ben Needham will start digging up an area close to where he went missing in Greece on Friday.

Ben vanished on the island of Kos in July 1991 when he was 21 months old, after his mother and grandparents moved there from Sheffield. Despite a number of possible sightings and a range of theories about what happened to him, no trace of the youngster has been found.

His mother, Kerry Needham, has spent two decades looking for her son and has consistently said she believes he was abducted and is still alive.

ITV News' Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy reports from Kos:

A team of British search experts have arrived on the island to begin digging up a mound of earth near the farmhouse where the family were staying at the time of the toddler's disappearance.

Ben's mother Kerry told ITV Calendar she is treating the latest search as an "elimination process".

She says she hopes that by ruling out Ben is in the area he went missing from, a worldwide search can begin.

To watch Kerry's interview in full visit ITV Calendar.

British officers will use sonar and 3D equipment to scan the ground. A forensic anthropologist, archaeologist and specially trained dogs will also form part of the operation.