Interpol says it has been flooded with leads to the identity of a child whose body was found in a river in Germany after Kerry Needham whose toddler son Ben vanished in Greece 32 years ago said the child looked similar.
Her comments indicating investigators to look into whether the body could be her son sparked widespread media coverage and resulted in dozens of tipoffs.
Interpol DNA tracking experts have also been involved in the investigation after calls to link up with British police over the body that was found weighted down by a plaster in the river.
The unidentified child’s remains were discovered by a canoeist in the Danube River in the town of Grossmehring, Eichstaett District, Bavaria State, on 19th May 2022.
The body was weighed down with a flagstone slab and wrapped in foil.
Ben Needham was playing at his grandparents’ farmhouse on the Greek island of Kos when he disappeared on 24th July 1991.
After Kerry made statements, international crimebusters Interpol confirmed they had received dozens of tip-offs about the victim’s identity after issuing a Black Notice on the case last week (29th August).
Interpol DNA Database Manager Francois-Xavier Laurent told local media on 5th September: “We have received 33 hints from the public.”
Investigators are currently evaluating all the information they received.
The Laurent added: “We can now assume that this boy was probably not German.”
In the Interpol Black Notice obtained by Newsflash, the organisation said it was “seeking the public’s help in identifying a deceased boy and to determine the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.”
Interpol also published a graphic reconstruction of the boy’s head.
The blue-eyed boy staring out of the photo is described as between five and six years old.
The description went on: “The boy is thought to be aged between five and six. He was approximately 110 cm (43.3 in) tall and 15 kg (2.36 st), with brown hair and blood type 0.”
The investigators added: “The results of investigations indicate that he likely spent time outside of Germany.”
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.”
He went on: “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 Needham’s mum Kerry had urged South Yorkshire Police to contact Interpol over her son.
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.”
Kerry claimed: “The reconstruction has a look of Ben. I never realised how child trafficking is so rife and massive.”
The investigations continue.