Sheffield mum refuses to give up fight to find missing son

Kerry Needham

Kerry Needham

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The Sheffield mum searching for her son for 25 years has vowed to 'never' give up.

Kerry Needham made her pledge as a team of South Yorkshire detectives follow up lines of enquiry and gather fresh information on the Greek island of Kos, where Ben vanished in 1991.

The team travelled to Kos earlier this week to make a new appeal for information on the disappearance and to publicise a £10,000 reward on offer.

Ben was 21 months old when he vanished from outside a remote farmhouse his grandfather was renovating.

With Home Office cash funding the latest trip, Kerry hopes it will provide South Yorkshire Police and Greek authorities with the information they need to crack the case.

Kerry, now a grandmother, said she is convinced he is still alive after a number of theories have all been disproved, including one that his uncle Stephen took him on a motorbike ride and there was an accident and another that he was buried under rubble near the farmhouse.

“If he had fallen down a hole he would have been found,” says Kerry.

“There were no accidents, he wasn’t buried by any of the machinery. Stephen didn’t take him on his bike and bury him – it was 120 degrees and the ground is like concrete.

“Although it hurt at the time you could see people’s reasons for thinking these things. The dig turned people’s views around. The ground didn’t open up and swallow him, he wasn’t abducted by aliens. Someone physically removed him from that area.”

Confident that she will one day be reunited with Ben, Kerry added: “I’ve always felt it as his mother. I’ve always believed he’s alive, somewhere. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Getting to the bottom of the why and where.”

She said the search for Ben had affected her entire family.

“It’s taken us to the ends of despair,” said Kerry.

“My dad drinking himself nearly to death, my parents splitting up. It takes you to the point where you can’t get out of bed and face the world. It’s taken the whole of our lives.

“People ask me where I find the strength to keep going. It comes from the love I have for Ben and also the fight to find him, for him to know the truth. Some days I don’t want to, but I know I have to. If I don’t then we’re never going to find the truth, are we?”