Police seek to demolish part of Kos farmhouse in search for missing Ben Needham


Police searching for missing toddler Ben Needham on the Greek island of Kos are negotiating to demolish part of the farmhouse on the site.

A specialist team has begun a second week of detailed excavations close to where the 21-month-old went missing in 1991.

Operations continued as Ben's sister described the pain the family is feeling while they wait for news.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins told reporters he was negotiating with the family who own a farmhouse at the site as he wants to knock down part of the structure.

He said: "I'm in negotiation with the family that own the farmhouse.

"There is reason for me to consider removing a small part of this farmhouse in order so that I can be sure that I have not missed any opportunity to find the answers that I need to."

The detective said a 1991 press photograph showed that part of the building was not there when Ben went missing.

Mr Cousins said it was a difficult negotiation as many members of the family that owned it had grown up there.

He said: "I fully understand the concern that the family have."

The officer said the operation was now back on schedule after an issue last week when a suspected ancient burial site was discovered.

Ben's sister, Leighanna Needham, told Good Morning Britain: "None of us want to believe that we were going to find something there because that's 25 years of fighting and pain and hurt that could have been ended 25 years ago.

"We're a family that's lived in hope. And what do you do when that hope's all gone? How do you continue when there's nothing left?"

The excavation began after new evidence was found that the Sheffield toddler may have been killed and buried there, yards from where he vanished while his grandfather was renovating a property.

A 19-strong team from South Yorkshire Police was sent to the island to investigate claims that the toddler might have been killed by a digger driver working on the 2.5-acre site.

Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, had been warned to "prepare for the worst".

Konstantinos Barkas, also known as Dino, was clearing land with an excavator close to where the youngster was playing on the day he vanished and may be responsible for his death, a friend of the builder reportedly told police following a TV appeal in May.

The driver reportedly died of stomach cancer last year.