Police say they believe British toddler missing since 1991 died in accident

Ben Needham disappeared on the Greek island of Kos when he was 21 months old

Police investigating the disappearance of British toddler Ben Needham believe he died in an accident near a farmhouse in the Greek island of Kos.

Police gave their briefing after a three-week dig for clues on the island, where Ben was last seen on July 24th, 1991.

"It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing," said South Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Jon Cousins.

He said police had discovered an item believed to have been in Ben's possession at the time of his disappearance.

The item, which was not identified, was shown to some of Ben's family.

The investigation team launched the digging operation after new information suggested that 21-month-old Ben may have died on the day he disappeared, run over by a local digger driver who was clearing land behind the farmhouse owned by the Needhams.

The driver, Konstantinos Barkas, died of cancer last year - prompting a new witness to come forward with fresh evidence.

The British officers, along with search volunteers from Greece, finished removing and sifting through the last mounds of soil at an old landfill tip on Sunday afternoon.

The Needham family had hoped that investigators might finally be able to provide them with a definitive answer surrounding the toddler's disappearance.

Investigators have excavated hundreds of tonnes of soil and other debris from the two locations on Kos, which are a quarter of a mile apart. 

During the recent excavation work, officers dismantled a small annex on the side of the farmhouse to search the foundations for any clues.