DNA sample taken of boy's body found in River Danube isn't missing Ben Needham
Ben was staying at his grandparents’ farmhouse on the Greek island of Kos when he vanished on July 24, 1991 (Picture: AFP)

Police have confirmed the body of a young boy found in a German river is not that of missing British toddler Ben Needham.

South Yorkshire Police, working with Interpol, revealed a DNA sample taken from a child whose body was pulled from the River Danube in May last year did not come back with a match.

Ben was staying at his grandparents’ farmhouse on the Greek island of Kos when he vanished on July 24, 1991, aged just 21 months.

His heartbroken mum Kerry has been searching for him ever since and was anxiously awaiting updates on the identity of the remains.

After South Yorkshire Police confirmed they are looking into the reports, Ms Needham said: ‘I’m pleased they are looking into it. Every possibility has to be investigated and ruled out.’

But on Wednesday, the force said: ‘South Yorkshire Police, supported by Interpol, has received confirmation that a DNA sample of the body found in the River Danube in Germany does not match that of Ben Needham.

‘Ben’s family has been informed and are being supported.

‘Our thoughts remain with the young boy who is yet to be identified and, of course, the Needham family who continue in their search for answers.’

The child?s remains were discovered in 2022 in the River Danube near Grossmehring in Bavaria, Germany Pic: Interpol
Interpol released a reconstruction of the deceased boy’s likeness (Picture: Interpol)

Interpol previously revealed the deceased child had been weighed down with a flagstone slab and his body wrapped in foil.

He was described as being around 3ft 6ins tall and around 2st 4lbs with brown hair and type O blood.

Interpol DNA Database Manager Francois-Xavier Laurent told local media last week: ‘We have received 33 hints from the public.’

He added: ‘We can now assume that this boy was probably not German.’

British police have previously said it is their ‘professional belief’ Ben was killed in an accident involving a large digger being used to clear land behind the farmhouse that was being renovated.

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