Detective Inspector Jon Cousins
Detective Inspector Jon Cousins of South Yorkshire Police Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The investigation into the disappearance of British toddler Ben Needham is winding down the dig at an excavation site on the Greek island of Kos. South Yorkshire Police officers, along with International Red Cross workers, have been searching for clues at the site for the last three weeks.

During that time, "nothing of major significance has been found", according to Detective Inspector Jon Cousins.

The latest round of inquiries into the disappearance of three-year-old Ben, 25 years ago, has cost £1m and turned up items including 10 skeletons from a Roman-era burial site and a small piece of light-coloured fabric, similar to clothes the toddler was wearing on the day he vanished.

However, DI Cousins told The Times, the dig was "at a closing stage."

Officers are now working on the theory that Ben may have been killed by a local digger driver who was clearing land near the spot where the toddler had been playing.

A new witness came forward, following the death of the driver, Konstantinos Barkas, of cancer last year. Excavation work is still continuing at a second site not far from the farmhouse, but is also likely to end in the coming days if nothing is found.

At a daily news briefing on the island, lead investigator DI Cousins said his officers were still determined to find answers for the Needham family.

Ben Needham
Ben Needham went missing 25 years ago from the island of Kos in Greece Reuters

"Their dedication is exactly the same as it was on day one," he told Sky News. "The determination to find an answer for Ben's family has not changed at all."

Ben Needham's grandparents had been sheltering from the sun inside the old farmhouse when he disappeared.

During recent excavation work officers dismantled a small annex on the side of the farmhouse to search the foundations for any clues. Hundreds of tonnes of earth from an olive grove next to the building have also been excavated and raked through as investigators look for minute clues.

Forensic anthropologists, who worked in the aftermath of the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks, have also been assisting investigators examine hundreds of animal bone fragments and other small items recovered over the past three weeks.

The second site where officers are searching is an old landfill tip about a quarter of a mile from the farmhouse. Investigators have also excavated hundreds of tonnes of soil and other debris from that location, which is being transported to a spot next to the farmhouse for more detailed examination.

DI Cousins told Sky News there was a lot of "compacted material" that investigators had to excavate and work through, adding: "There was some 20 deposits that had not been compacted. But then we got down to the compacted ground and there is a mix, across 30 years of material throughout this area."

The Home Office gave South Yorkshire Police £450,000 in March 2016 to continue the investigations into Ben's disappearance for a further six months.

The force had received £750,000 last year after Ben's mother threatened to sue Theresa May, home secretary at the time, for failing to fund the search while giving money to the hunt for Madeleine McCann.