The Search for Ben continues with DNA “sample”.
For the last two decades the search for Ben has never ceased. Photographs, sketches and posters have been issued, but all, to no avail. It is now possible to perform a DNA search.
The recent British court decision gives the family of Ben Needham, who disappeared in 1991 in Kos , the right to use a sample of his genetic code to trace him.
This is a first, for the British judicial system, which has declared a decision for an adult, without his permission, and without any evidence or suspicions of a death.
Ben disappeared on July 24, 1991 when he was 21 months old, outside the house in Heraklis, Kos , which was under construction. The 19 year old mother, Kerry Grist, at the time was working as a waitress, and had left her son under the supervision of his grandmother. One of the theories that had dominated the press, in the early years of his disappearance, was that he had been abducted by gypsies and then sold to a childless couple.
In the early nineties DNA identification was still in an experimental stage, therefore the Greek police did not ask the family for any items for sample collection.
Ben’s DNA sample will be collected from a blood sample, which was preserved in a British hospital immediately after birth. With the DNA, says the mother, the Greek authorities will be able to detect if Ben has ever committed any offence or had an accident.
DNA sample for a missing person has only been granted by authorities, according to the newspaper “The Times”, in the case of 15 year old, Vicki Hamilton in 2006, when the police had suspected that a corpse which had been discovered, might have been that of the girl. Analysis verified the police assessment was positive.
The case of Ben’s search was reopened this year with the cooperation of the South Yorkshire Police and the Greek authorities.
Kerry Grist replied to the newspaper “Nea”, “I feel tired, but this time I am much more confident that the cooperation will bear fruit. Local authorities assured me that they will do everything they can. I know that my son is alive.”
Translated by Michelle Stelletos