Ben Needham’s mother says she was “physically ill” when police told her a boy found in the German River was not her son.
- Remains found in Germany are not those of missing boy Ben Needham
- Mother Kerry Needham, 51, said she was “disastrous” waiting for her DNA results.
- There have been more than 300 alleged sightings since Ben disappeared in 1991.
The mother of missing boy Ben Needham has spoken of her relief after being told that the body of a child discovered at the bottom of the Danube in Germany last year was not that of her son.
Kerry Needham, 51, said she had been “very nervous” waiting to find out if the remains of a child discovered in Germany last year were those of Ben, who has been missing for more than thirty years.
Needham said she was physically ill after receiving a phone call from South Yorkshire Police informing her that DNA results indicated the boy, discovered in the River Danube, was not her son.
“It was all that repressed anxiety,” he explained. “It was a big surprise, but obviously a relief.”
“My stomach did a somersault,” Needham added.
Ben Needham disappeared on the Greek island of Kos in 1991. His parents have consistently rejected the theory that he died in an accident involving a nearby excavator.
Kerry Needham, 51, has previously spoken out about her belief that Ben, who was just 21 months old when he disappeared, was kidnapped by child traffickers with the intention of selling him for adoption.
Ben, then 21 months old, disappeared from his grandparents’ farm on the Greek island of Kos in July 1991.
There have been more than three hundred alleged sightings of Ben, from Sheffield, since his disappearance. Needham has previously spoken about her belief that his son was kidnapped by traffickers in hopes of selling him for adoption.
Hopes were raised after Interpol, an organization that facilitates police cooperation globally, previously stated that it believed the boy discovered in the Danube was not German. Interpol believes the boy was approximately five or six years old and may have been kidnapped abroad.
The boy’s remains were discovered wrapped in aluminum foil and loaded with a touchstone in May 2022. Investigations suggested the boy had brown hair and was approximately 3′ 6′ tall.
“The way that child died makes it worse,” Mrs. Needham told the daily mirror, adding that she wasn’t sure how she would have been able to handle the news if the results had confirmed a DNA match. “It’s just horrible.”
The remains of a child, believed to be five or six years old, were discovered near this location along the Bavarian branch of the Danube in May 2022. The child was found wrapped in aluminum foil and loaded with cement.
Needham added that he hoped the identity of the missing child would be quickly established. “Not knowing what happened to your child is your worst nightmare,” she said.
Needham has consistently rejected the theory that Ben was accidentally killed by a bulldozer that was working in a field near his parents’ house. Investigations at the scene led to the discovery of a toy car which was described at the time as the “key” to unraveling the case.
While it was later found that DNA discovered in the car did not match Ben’s, South Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Jon Cousins stated in 2018 that it remains “his professional belief” that Ben died in an accident. on Mrs. Needham’s parents’ property in 1991.
South Yorkshire Police said officers were supporting the Needham family.
A force spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with the young man who has yet to be identified and of course with the Needham family who continue to search for answers.”