Thursday, November 12, 1998 Published at 12:39 GMT
Hair clue for lost boy's family
Ben was two years old when he went missing in 1991
Holidaymaker John Cookson believes a child he saw playing on a beach in Rhodes could be the youngster who went missing on the island of Kos in 1991.
Mr Cookson, who was so convinced it was Ben, managed to pluck a strand of hair from the boy as he patted him on the head.
Mr Cookson gave the hair, along with a video tape and photographs of the blond, blue-eyed boy to Ben's parents, who live in Sheffield.
She said: "This time, although we are excited and nervous and our emotions are running very high, we are trying to keep an open mind."
"It's no longer just a blond haired boy on a beach, we've actually got something physical to work on."
He said he was not convinced initially when he saw the video of the boy but added: "After watching it a few times I began to notice a family resemblance."
Forensic scientists from the force will now try to match the DNA with Ben's mother Kerry.
Ben was two years old when he vanished from outside the farmhouse of his grandparents, who had emigrated from Sheffield.
Police believe Ben may have been kidnapped and sold to a childless couple.
Since his disappearance, there have been more than 200 reported sightings checked by police and the Needham family but he has never been found.