Greek detectives say the new search for evidence in the case of British toddler Ben Needham, who went missing on the island of Kos 25 years ago, is totally pointless.
Ben’s mother Kerry had at least been hoping for some sort of closure, even if the news was that police had found her son’s body.
But the Greek detectives who worked on the original case 25 years ago say they have already searched every inch of the current British police search area not once but twice.
Ben disappeared in July 1991 at the age of 21 months. He had been living with his family in Kos, where his grandparents had a home in the village of Iraklis near Kos town.
On the day he disappeared, his mother had left him in their care while she went to her job at a nearby hotel. He had been playing inside and outside the farmhouse the family was busy renovating until they realised at about 2.30pm that he was missing.
In September this year, police told Ben’s mum that they had information that digger operator Konstantinos Barkas, who has since died, had run Ben over in an accident before burying him.
But police from South Yorkshire are believed to be drawing to the end of a fresh search without finding any new evidence.
Greek Police said they weren’t surprised. One of the original officers in the initial investigation said: “We thoroughly investigated all the areas that the British investigators are searching now at the time and nothing was found.
“We examined all scenarios of the disappearance of the young English boy and a full report of our findings was compiled and sent to police HQ consistent with an allegation of the abduction of a minor.
“The investigation and the whole saga continues because the British have provided the money. But, the whole operation is futile.”
The fresh search began after a new witness approached police saying he knew exactly what had happened; that Ben had been crushed under a JCB digger which was clearing land around his grandparents’ farmhouse.
The driver, said the witness, could not bring himself to admit what had happened so he buried Ben with the earth he was excavating.
Mr Barkas, known as Dinos, was interviewed by police shortly after Ben’s disappearance and was released.
However whatever the outcome of this latest search, lead investigator Detective Inspector Jon Cousins says he and his officers remain as determined as ever to find answers for the Needham family.