The mother of a
toddler who disappeared in Greece almost 16 years ago told yesterday
how the Madeleine McCann case had revived memories of her own
whose son Ben Needham vanished from the island of Kos in 1991 and
has never been found, said the girl's mother would "feel like her
heart has been ripped out".
Madeleine's mother, Kate, to "stay strong" through the ordeal. And
she admitted it was hard to put trust in a foreign police force that
"doesn't understand our ways" - though she added that the Portuguese
force appeared better than the Greek.
Mrs Grist was
working as a waitress at the time Ben went missing from a farmhouse
her parents and brother were renovating.
Greek police logged up to 200 possible sightings of Ben - who she
believes is still alive after being snatched "to order" for a
childless couple - he has never been found. Speaking about
yesterday's appeal by the missing girl's mother, she told BBC Radio
4's Today programme: "It was like a mirror image: the look on her
face, the fear, the worry, everything. It was like seeing myself 15
She is going to
have a lot of different emotions: she is going to be very frightened
of not knowing what's happened to Madeleine, very confused.
''She will just
feel like her heart has been ripped out." Asked what message she had
for Mrs McCann, she said: "The only thing I can try to advise her on
is to stay strong, stay in control of everything.''
She said that
when Ben first went missing it "didn't enter our heads at all" that
he might have been abducted.
"You live every
day just thinking someone is going to walk back through the door
with him,'' she added.
"In my heart I
feel if I thought for one minute that Ben was no longer alive I
would have given up by now and I can't - there's something that
drives me on to keep looking, keep looking and keep fighting for