GREEK detectives have told the mother of missing Ben Needham that they plan to officially re-open the case for the first time in two decades.
Kerry Grist has heard that police on the holiday island of Kos had been told to re-examine one of the longest running missing person cases in history.
South Yorkshire police officers have also travelled to the island for the first time since Ben disappeared in 1991, aged 21 months, to discuss the investigation.
The youngster was snatched as he played outside the farmhouse his grandparents were renovating while his mother was at work at a local hotel.
Mrs Grist, 39, and her family have funded their own investigation into Ben’s disappearance, visiting the island dozens of times.
There have been hundreds of sightings of Ben, whose 22nd birthday is later this month, but until now the Greek authorities have ignored the family’s plea for help.
The breakthrough came when Kerry received a call inviting her to travel to Kos for a personal meeting with the senior prosecutor on the island.
Mrs Grist, of Ecclesfield, Sheffield, said: ”I have searched for Ben since the first day he went missing and that is the first time that I have been in that building.
“I feel at last that someone is going to help me and I trust her, It is more than I could ask of her. I went home from Greece for the first time feeling that Ben is not forgotten.
“I know he is out there, not necessarily in Greece but somewhere in the world. There has suddenly been a massive turnaround after being up against the Greek authorities for 20 years.
“Before I have left the island disappointed, heartbroken by the lack of effort that the Greek police have put in.
“Now there is a different attitude and the case is wide open again. To have South Yorkshire police in Greece for the first time working with local police who weren’t around 20 years ago and are new to the case is wonderful news.”