Ben Needham disappearance: Detectives looking for missing toddler extend stay on Kos

'When I sit down with the family, I can tell them that we've done everything we can,' says DI Jon Cousins

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The Independent Online

Detectives looking for missing toddler Ben Needham have extended their stay on the Greek island of Kos by another "two or three days".

DI Jon Cousins said the time was needed to search a second area close to where 21-month-old Ben disappeared from a farmhouse in 1991.

But he denied the rumours his officers were searching a third site on the island.

He said work in the area so far had revealed compacted material deposited over the last 30 years and that more work was needed for the search.

"We are going to be doing this to give me the confidence that I've done everything I can," he said.

"I am lifting all the earth behind us. We're going to work through it in similar fashion to what we've done up at the farmhouse."

South Yorkshire Police and members of the Greek rescue service excavate a site in search of missing toddler Ben Needham (Getty)

He added: "The team are 100 per cent behind this. And every single one of them, including the volunteers, are adamant that they are staying for this period of time. It's got to be done.

"I've got to be able, when I leave Kos, I know myself, when I sit down with the family, I can tell them that we've done everything we can to find an answer in relation to what happened to Ben."

He confirmed he had been given information about another area where Konstantinos Barkas, the driver of a digger, deposited rubble 25 years ago.

The current investigation was prompted by allegations that Mr Barkas may have been responsible for Ben's death.

Mr Barkas reportedly died of stomach cancer in 2015.

There are fears the child may have been crushed to death in an accident. Ben's mother, Kerry Needham, said police have told her to "fear the worst".