Excavation ends at Ben Needham site in Kos

A bulldozer demolishes the last room of the farmhouse in Kos during excavation work searching for missing toddler Ben Needham.

Police searching for clues surrounding the disappearance of Ben Needham have ended excavation work at the site where the toddler was last seen.

For the last three weeks, officers from South Yorkshire and search volunteers from Greece have been excavating land around an old farmhouse on the island of Kos.

Ben, who was 21 months old, had been playing outside the farmhouse when he disappeared on 24 July 1991. Despite investigations at the time and at various points over the years, no trace of the youngster or clues to his fate have ever been found.

Officers are now working on the theory that Ben may have died on the day he disappeared, run over by a local digger driver who was clearing land near the spot where the toddler had been playing.

The driver, Konstantinos Barkas, died of cancer last year – prompting a new witness to come forward with fresh evidence.

Excavation work is still continuing at a second site not far from the farmhouse, but is also likely to end in the coming days if nothing is found.

Hundreds of tons of earth from an olive grove next to the building have also been excavated and raked through as investigators look for minute clues.

Forensic anthropologists, who worked in the aftermath of the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks, have also been assisting investigators examine hundreds of animal bone fragments and other small items recovered over the past three weeks.

The second site where officers are searching is an old landfill tip about a quarter of a mile from the farmhouse.

Investigators have excavated hundreds of tonnes of soil and other debris from that location, which is being transported to a spot next to the farmhouse for more detailed examination.

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