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Ben Needham: Family still have 'no closure' on 28th anniversary of his disappearance

Ben Needham Photo: Press Association

The family of Ben Needham is marking the 28th anniversary of his disappearance today, with his mum Kerry saying they "still have no closure".

The 21 month old, from Sheffield, was living on the Greek island of Kos with members of his family who had moved there for a new life in 1991.

On the day he disappeared, July 24, he had been taken by his grandmother Christine to a remote farmhouse in the village of Irakles, which his grandfather Eddie was helping to renovate alongside local builders.

Sometime in the afternoon the couple noticed the youngster had gone - but thought he may have been taken back to where he was living by one of Kerry's brothers who had visited the farmhouse briefly. But that was not the case.

On the evening it became apparent Ben was not with anyone - and the family's horrible nightmare began. His mum Kerry who had been working in a nearby bar, joined the search along with members of the family, who were becoming utterly desperate at the situation.

That situation has endured for 28 years - with the conclusion two years ago, by South Yorkshire Police, that Ben had died on the day he disappeared after being involved in an accident with a digger driven by a local man - who died in 2015.

The Force, with the co-operation of Greek Authorities, carried out a major excavation of the farmhouse in 2012, and then again in 2016 - extending their search to other tipping grounds used by the digger driver. In October 2016 they found a toy car at one of the tipping areas, thought to have belonged to Ben. It was found with artefacts dating back to 1991. In 2012 samples of a sandal were found and kept for later analysis.Last year scientists at the Hutton Institute in Scotland concluded there were traces of human decomposition ( ie blood from someone who had died) but the DNA extracted did not match Ben's.

Today Ben's mum Kerry released a statement on the Help Find Ben Facebook page:

It's now 28 years since Ben disappeared from our lives and we still have no closure, we are still in hope that one day someone will come forward and give us the information we so desperately need, we would like to thank everyone for their continued love and support"

– Kerry Needham

As Kerry and all her family continue to live with not definitively knowing what happened to Ben, they're hoping one day someone on the island of Kos will reveal Ben's fate, so they can finally lay him to rest.