COPS are investigating whether a child found in a German river could be missing tot Ben Needham.

Desperate mum Kerry alerted South Yorkshire Police to a fresh appeal by Interpol to help identify the body of a young boy who was discovered in the River Danube in Bavaria in May 2022.

The child had been weighed down with a flagstone slab and wrapped in foil.

Police are now probing whether the child – who investigators say was aged between five and six – could be missing toddler Ben Needham.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "We are aware of reports of a body being found in Germany.

"We are looking into the reports and at this time, we do not have any further update to provide."

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As part of the public appeal to identify the child, key details were released to the public, including facial reconstruction images and physical characteristics.

The investigators added: "The results of investigations indicate that he likely spent time outside of Germany."

Ben was playing at his grandparents' farmhouse on the Greek island of Kos when he disappeared on July 24, 1991.

He was 21 months old when he vanished. 

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Kerry had recently moved to Kos from Sheffield to start a new life with her family when the tragedy unfolded.

She had left her son with her grandparents while she went to work, not realising she would never see him again.

Interpol DNA Database Manager Francois-Xavier Laurent yesterday told local media that the international crime agency had received "33 hints from the public" over the young boy's likeness to Ben.

He added that the young boy found "was probably not German".

Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock said: "Through this Black Notice, Interpol is calling upon the global law enforcement community to cross-check databases and consult open or unsolved cases".

He added: "Someone, somewhere knows something about this boy, making it equally important to release certain details publicly.

"Whether he was the victim of trafficking, abduction or violence, we are committed to mobilising all of Interpol's policing capabilities to identify him and help investigators shed light on his death.

"Members of the public, particularly those who remember a missing child whose characteristics and disappearance indicate a potential link to this case, are invited to contact the national police team in Germany should they have any information."

Missing Ben's mother Kerry had previously urged South Yorkshire Police to contact Interpol over her son's disappearance.

She said: "I am hoping our British police will check this out and contact the German officers about this.

"We need to rule it out. I've always said all along that I don't believe he's died.

"The reconstruction has a look of Ben. I never realised how child trafficking is so rife and massive."

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South Yorkshire Police have previously twice sent a team of their own to Kos, the latest time being after a witness came forward to say that before his death, digger driver Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas, who has since died, confessed to killing Ben.

This theory has been rejected by Kerry.

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