Last updated at 3:26 AM on 13th January 2012
Tom Cruise has added his weight behind a renewed hunt to find kidnapped boy Ben Needham.
The Hollywood actor spread the story of Ben to his millions of followers on the social network website Twitter as part of a 24-hour internet appeal.
Ben disappeared two decades ago on the holiday isle of Kos aged just 21 months. It sparked a huge but so far unsuccessful police search.
Tom Cruise, pictured with his wife Katie Holmes, added his support to the campaign to fin Ben Needham by posting on Twitter
Cruise was joined by fellow actor Tom Arnold and Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh who have also added their support to the appeal.
The 24-hour Twitter marathon, Tweet 4 Ben, was arranged through an appeal website backed by Ben’s mother Kerry Grist.
The mega tweet, which aimed to get 10,000 followers on Facebook, caught the attention of Cruise and his tweet to 2.4 million people has given everyone involved a fresh impetus.
Kerry, 39, of Sheffield told the Daily Express: ‘The social networking site is an amazing
tool. If we had had this 20 years ago who knows what would have
‘There was a message that Tom Cruise had re-tweeted, it was
like a different world, it was unreal. It shows that people, whoever
they are, care and that is amazing for us.’
Fair-haired Ben was snatched on July 24, 1991, while playing outside the farmhouse his grandparents were renovating on the Greek isle while his mum was at work at a local hotel.
Still hoping: Kerry Needham (left) holds a
picture of how experts believe her missing son Ben would look today,
ahead of his 21st birthday this month, and right, a picture of Ben
before he was snatched
Since then, Kerry and her family have funded their own investigation into Ben’s disappearance, visiting the island dozens of times.
There have been hundreds of reported sightings but so far all have proved negative.
The Greek authorities continually ignored the family’s plea for help but have now officially re-opened case for the first time since Ben’s disappearance – and South Yorkshire police have travelled to Kos to liaise with their counterparts.
Ben’s DNA was also recently added to the Interpol database in the hope of securing a match.