UK police working on the missing case of the 21-month-old believe he died as a “result of an accident” on the Greek island of Kos, where he vanished in 1991.
British detectives flew to the island to excavate key sites after receiving information a digger driver, now deceased, my have run over the toddler.
The three-week dig culminated in the partial demolition of a farmhouse on the site where Ben, from Sheffield, was last seen on July 24 more than two decades ago.
It is thought he may have died on the day he disappeared.
Officers claim to have found an item of significance, which they would not elaborate on, which was with the youngster when he disappeared.
It was shown to Ben’s family.
Detective Inspector Jon Cousins said: “It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse … where he was last seen playing.”
Local digger driver, Konstantinos Barkas, was excavating land near the spot Ben was last seen.
Mr Barkas died of cancer last year, prompting a witness to come forward with fresh evidence.
British officers alongside volunteers from Greece excavated more than 800 tonnes of soil from two key sites, one the farmhouse where Ben was playing in front of, and a landfill a quarter of a mile away.
Some 70 items have been sent back to the UK for further forensic analysis.
More to follow . . .