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Ben Needham's mum's message of support for McCanns

Missing toddler Ben Needham Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The mother of missing South Yorkshire toddler Ben Needham has sent a message of support to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal in 2007.

This week a team of British and Portugese police officers began searching wasteland in the holdiay resort of Praia da Luz.

Kerry Needdham said: "I completely understand and know how Kate and Gerry must be feeling right now.

"It is the most horrific thought and feeling that any parent can go through - knowing that police are going to be digging up ground and there is a chance your child could be buried there - it's horrendous.

"When the dig was going on in Kos I was 99 per cent sure they would not find Ben - but there was always that 1 per cent chance they could - and that's very hard to cope with.

"There are some similarities between Ben's case and Madeleine's, and then again there is not. We are just two families who want to know where our children are. My thoughts are with them"