THE heartbroken mum of missing toddler Ben Needham, who went missing 30 years ago, is still holding out hope that he is alive.
Kerry Needham will this weekend endure the 30th year of heartbreaking anniversaries since her son Ben vanished on the Greek island of Kos back in 1991.
The British mum told the Mirror she is “anxious, depressed and unhappy” as she approaches Saturday – which marks 30 years since she last saw her son.
While Kerry refuses to believe Ben is dead, British police think the then 21-month-old boy was killed on July 24, 1991, by a digger driver in a tragic accident at the farmhouse which Kerry’s parents were renovating,
“I still have that hope that South Yorkshire Police are wrong,” Kerry said.
“And while there is no evidence to show me, I have to believe he is still alive. There’s not a single thread of evidence to say otherwise.
“We need to keep on searching for Ben.”
Kerry admitted she was “struggling” with the milestone, which came after 30 years of heartbreak.
“I feel like I want to scream and sob for myself, for Ben, and for my family. I get teary but I can’t cry. I am scared if I do start crying, I just won’t stop,” she said.
Kerry has a 27-year-old daughter, Leighanna, who she said was “amazing” and granddaughters, Hermione, seven, and Aurora, three.
She spoke of how she had found it hard to move on, having devoted three decades of her life to finding Ben.
A forensic artist has recently created an image of how Ben would look now, 30 years after he vanished on Kos, Greece.
This follows on from an artist impression of Ben that was distributed by police in 2013, revealing how he was expected to have looked as a young man.
Kerry had recently moved to Kos from Sheffield, to start a new life with her family, when the tragedy occurred.
She left him with her grandparents while she went to work, not realising that she would not see him again.
Police efforts to dig the land at the farmhouse failed to uncover remains, though it was reportedly their “professional belief” that Ben died when a digger driver accidentally ran over him.
South Yorkshire Police have twice sent a team of their own to the island, the latest time being after a witness came forward to say that before his death, digger driver Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas confessed to killing Ben.
While Kerry still did not accept the theory, she said things didn’t add up – such as DNA tests carried out on a toy found at the site, which did not match Ben’s.
Covid has, for now, thwarted her plan to return to Kos to make an appeal to the Greek public and meet the witness face-to-face.
Kerry was told that the witness, a business partner of Barkas, had claimed to have seen her son playing on a mound of soil in the morning of his disappearance.
The next day, he claimed Karkas told the witness he feared he may have run the boy over.
“I don’t know why he is claiming he saw Ben there in the morning because my mum didn’t walk up there with him until about 12.45am,” Kerry said.
“If he is wrong about that, what else is he wrong about in his statement?
She was still waiting for the South Yorkshire Police to give her access to the witness statements and their report, she said, to aid her own personal quest to find the truth.