THE mother of missing Ben Needham has been offered information from a man claiming to know where her son is - but he is demanding more than £560,000 up front.
Little Ben went missing on the Greek island of Kos in 1991 when he was just 21 months old - and despite dozens of possible sightings, no trace of the missing child has ever been found.
His mum Kerry Grist-Needham, from Ecclesfield, who has always believed Ben is alive, has now been contacted by a man in Greece who claims to know the whereabouts of her son.
Kerry, aged 40, told The Star: “I was contacted three weeks ago via a Greek detective agency who got in touch via Ben’s website.
“The man wanted £560,000 - a reward offered 15 years ago by a number of different people and organisations who put together the money.
“But that money is no longer there. I told him I could offer £400,000 - which I don’t have at the moment, but could come up with if it turned out to be Ben.
“But he refused and said he would only accept the full £560,000 - and only up front.
“I’m now completely stranded. There’s no way I can come up with that money.
“He is now withholding evidence and blackmailing. That’s got to be a crime, even in Greece. This has to be taken to a governmental level now.”
Kerry has now enlisted the support of her constituency MP Angela Smith.
Ms Smith said: “I have asked the Foreign Office to use diplomatic channels to try and persuade the Greek authorities to intervene in the situation.”