Web shows lost Ben - after nine years

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The Independent Online

A computer-generated picture of how Ben Needham, who went missing when he was a toddler, could look today has been posted on the internet - nine years after he disappeared on a Greek island.

A computer-generated picture of how Ben Needham, who went missing when he was a toddler, could look today has been posted on the internet - nine years after he disappeared on a Greek island.

The remarkable image has been produced using an American technique adopted for the first time by British police forces to help to trace a missing person.

Ben, who was born in Sheffield, was 21 months old when he vanished from Kos while he was with his family. He has never been seen since, despite many appeals by his family and the British authorities over the years.

The picture has been posted on the UK Missing and Exploited Children Website, a joint venture by police forces around the country and Computer Associates, a computer company.

The image shows Ben as a boy of 10, with blue eyes and straight blond hair.

"What we would ask is that British holidaymakers who are planning to go to Greece this summer visit the website and look at the picture of Ben,' said Jim Greensmith, a South Yorkshire Police spokesman. "If possible they should download a picture, print it out and take it with them just in case they make a sighting which may help the investigation. We are hoping this image might just throw up new information which will help our inquiry."

Ben's family were not available for comment last night.

Theories about Ben's fate have included murder and abduction, possibly for sale to a childless family.

The website can be found at www.missingkids.co.uk

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