Ben Needham's mum given 'haunting' new lead in search for missing boy
Kerry Needham, the mum of missing Ben Needham, who disappeared in Greece when he was 18 months old, has been given a photograph of a mystery boy who could be her son.
Ben went missing in 1991 on the holiday isle of Kos. A Greek woman has now come forward with a photograph of a young boy, taken sometime in 1995.
The child - who the woman does not know the identity of - is standing between her own two children in the snap, and bears a resemblance to blonde haired Ben.
The woman claims that the woman with the child at the time the picture was taken told her she was not the little boy's real mum.
Ben's mum Kerry says the picture does look like pictures created by an artist to represent how Ben would have changed over the years.
Kerry spoke about the the new photo on Greece's End of the Tunnel TV programme, a show about missing people.
"My first reaction was this photo sent in by the viewer had a hauntingly familiar look about it and my dad said the same. It was a weird feeling," she said.
"Whether that is because I have seen this picture before or it is Ben, I just don't know. The only thing that puts me off is the mouth because it looks very wide but when I compared this to Ben's first artist-updated photo, there was a similarity in the smile."
South Yorkshire Police are now following up leads after 34,000 hits were made on the Help Find Ben website after the programme aired.
Kerry said it was worth 'all the heartache' going on the show because so many people had come forward.
"For the first time young men came forward saying they looked like Ben's updated photo and can we check out their Facebook pictures. It is a massive breakthrough in itself," the 40-year-old said.
Kerry had initially agreed to appear on the show to rule out another picture taken from video footage shot in 1995 by a private detective.
"I went on the show to ask 'Who is this?' This picture has haunted us all this time because we have never been able to rule it out," she said.
The video shows a little boy of around six and was shot at a gypsy camp in Veria.
"It is the one that has kept us awake the most because there's never been a satisfactory ending. We are not saying this is Ben but we want to eliminate this boy from our inquiries because he's never been identified," she said.
Ben would now be 23. A search around the house where he was last seen was undertaken in October this year, digging up land to try and find a trace of the boy. Nothing was found, leaving Kerry hopeful that her son is still alive somewhere.