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Items of ‘slight interest’ found in search for missing British toddler in Greece

South Yorkshire police officers and members of the Greek rescue service investigate the ground while excavating a site during an investigation for Ben Needham on the island of Kos

British police seeking a toddler missing for 25 years said on Tuesday they had uncovered scraps of fabric “of slight interest” in a field on the Greek island of Kos, where he was last seen.

Following new leads in the disappearance of Ben Needham, South Yorkshire Police, leading the investigation, began excavations in an olive grove on the island on Monday.

Police are focusing their attention on two sites on the island close to where the child was last seen on July 24, 1991, and a team with British and Greek forensic archaeologists involved continued sifting through mounds of earth using a giant sieve for a second day on Tuesady.

A “vast number” of bones had been unearthed but discounted as belonging to animals, Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said on the site, and pieces of fabric were being analysed.

“When I say it is of slight interest, it is of slight interest,” Cousins said. “They are pieces of fabric and clearly we want to make sure: do they or do they not relate to any of the items that Ben may have been wearing on that day.”

The child was 21 months old when he disappeared while playing outside a farmhouse his family was renovating as a holiday home.

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