View Full Version : UK UK - Damien Nettles, 16, Isle of Wight England, 2 Nov 1996

04-02-2007, 04:05 PM
Damien Nettles went missing November 2nd, 1996 on The Isle of Wight,
Hampshire, England. He had been out with friends and parted company
from them at approx 10.30pm. He was seen on Cowes High St by
various people. He was caught on security camera at Yorkie's Chip
Shop on Cowes High Street at approx 11:45pm. He was surrounded by
a group of 5/6 men. Only three of these men have been identified. Two
were army officers who were in Cowes for training in sailing. The other
a local drug dealer, who has since passed away, who was not identified
until after his death. This is odd, as the Isle of Wight is a very small
place and I am surprised that despite pictures and publicity of this video,
it took over six years for someone to identify this individual. The first
two men were identified after a documentary, which aired in January
1997, 2 months after Damien went missing. They were not local. The
National Missing Persons Charity was given an anonymous tip that
these two were from the Army, based in Aldershot. They were
interrogated and claim they did not know anything, however, both of
them held conversation with Damien, as seen on the video.


05-12-2011, 12:15 AM
Missing Teenager Mystery: Five Arrests

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a teenage boy who went missing nearly 15 years ago.

Damien Nettles, 16, was last seen on November 2, 1996, after a night out with friends in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

CCTV shows him beginning a walk home that should only have taken around 15 minutes, but he never arrived and has not been seen since. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmyQ50WD1FQ)

Detectives investigating Damien's disappearance detained the men "in response to information about the case".

The five men were arrested on Tuesday and were questioned at a number of different police stations across the island and in Hampshire.

They are a 44-year-old man from Cowes, Isle of Wight, a 48-year-old man from Sandown, Isle of Wight, a 37-year-old man from Ryde, Isle of Wight, a 50-year-old man from Newport, Isle of Wight, and a 39-year-old man from Gravesend, Kent.

They have now been released on police bail.

More: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Damien-Nettles-Five-Men-Arrested-On-Suspicion-Of-Murder-Of-Isle-Of-Wight-Boy-Missing-For-15-Years/Article/201105215989776

09-27-2012, 07:36 AM
I can remember Damien going missing and my heart still aches for his family who do not yet have answers.

Those who were arrested last year have ALL been released without charge.


There is a facebook page for Damien, run by the family, where his mum is a frequent poster, sharing her thoughts and progress. They have not given up hope of finding his body, although they seem to be getting very little support from LE or other bureaucracy.


The family have been led to believe they might find Damien's body in Parkhurst forest. They have identified a specific area and have requested permission to dig it up to look. They are not asking for money or resources to do this - it will be funded and manned entirely by themselves - but permission to dig has been denied. What's more, they have been threatened with arrest if any attempt is made to search there :banghead:

There is however something we can do to help. Damien's sister, Sarah, has started a petition to allow them to search and dig this small part of the forest to look for her brother's remains. They want just under 4000 signatures - so far they have only just over 1000.

If any sleuthers could spare a few minutes to sign this petition, I'm sure the family will be grateful and may just help them reach their goal. Please feel free to share this once you have signed. I reckon with a bit of a push, we could make a big difference.


09-27-2012, 10:02 AM
I am happy to sign the petition, but shouldnt the experts be digging rather than family? I dont think Ive ever heard of that happening before?

09-27-2012, 05:22 PM
I am happy to sign the petition, but shouldnt the experts be digging rather than family? I dont think Ive ever heard of that happening before?

I completely agree with you, not heard of this before either. I guess the LE may consider this to be a wild goose chase - they have come by the information through rumour and a psychic - not exactly evidence the LE are going to give much credit to.

But, trying to see it from the family's point of view, I can imagine this little bit of information is eating away at them. If that were me I would be wanting to follow absolutely everything up, no matter how remote the possibility. By signing the petition they may be given permission to look. At least it would put their minds at rest.

09-28-2012, 04:58 AM
very happy to sign. This family needs some kind of closure.

04-27-2013, 03:19 AM
Apparently the police lost the vital cctv footage.

I'd suggest they find it again, sharpish. If they cannot locate their own evidence, what hope is there of them ever locating a missing person?

This is not a big island. Neither is it easy for a suspect to come and go unnoticed. This case does not sound as though it has been handled well at all, in my opinion.

04-27-2013, 03:31 AM
I just heard poor Valerie Nettles speaking on the radio. She lives in Texas now. Heartbreaking. She has accepted her son is deceased, but there is no closure;

"I feel he still needs me."

And she is right, he does. Because it doesn't look like the people who have the responsibility to bring him home, have done all they can.

Although the family and supporters have been refused permission to dig, I wonder about a SAR search? Police and forestry authorities could hardly refuse permission to take trained dogs into the woods. And as for possibly destroying evidence - SAR teams are trained not to do that and, well....sounds like someone's already lost the most vital evidence anyway.

04-27-2013, 03:42 AM
Hampshire Constabulary are responsible for the investigation into the disappearance of Damien Nettles. His disappearance is being investigated as a possible homicide. His case has gone unsolved for more than 16 years now - longer than Damien was alive.


04-27-2013, 03:52 AM
Anyone with ANY information about the case of Damien Nettles should contact Hampshire Constabulary on tel: 101 (UK only) or email: operation.ridgewood@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

If you want to stay anonymous, call Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 (UK only)

The investigation into Damien's disappearance has been named Operation Ridgewood:

11-01-2014, 05:29 PM
This case is still apparently active, with a new update on the Hampshire police website today:

Previous police actions in this case include:

● 1,134 people have been involved in the investigation (either as investigators, witnesses, or people of interest) since Damien Nettles disappeared on November 2, 1996.
● 357 witness statements have been taken to date since November 2, 1996.
● 2,553 documents have been reviewed and processed.

● Between 2010 and 2012, it was necessary for the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) to concentrate on analysing and acting upon the information already passed to police by the local community.
● This analysis led police in 2011 to arrest eight people who were questioned over the course of a year, and later released with no further action.
● Officers focused on completing existing enquiries while multiple suspects were on bail. We did not charge anyone with a criminal offence.
● Murder or foul play cannot be ruled out.

● Hampshire Constabulary offered a £20,000 reward between October 4, 2012 and April 4, 2013 for facts leading to the location of Damien Nettles.
● Police received 30 reports of information.
● Each of the 30 reports of information has been analysed and assessed in line with police procedures.
● None of the information led to new lines of enquiry. However, the case was not closed.

Hampshire Constabulary remains disappointed that Damien has not been found yet. However, our files continue to be kept open to receive any new facts anyone may have about what happened to the teenager in November 1996.

A key point to repeat and remember in this case is the reporting of any new facts, not fictions fuelled by the repetition of rumour.

How to contact police if you have facts about Damienís disappearance.

Anyone with information can contact the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) at Fratton Police Station by phoning 101 or emailing operation.ridgewood@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

02-01-2015, 01:18 PM
Bumping for Damien Nettles and his family, he sounds like a wonderful young man and he must be missed terribly.
How far do some of the boats in the area venture? Are they owned by local people, or do many foreigners, such as North Americans come through the area?


"But since that night of November 2, 1996, there has been no trace of Damien, whose family then lived in Woodvale Road, Gurnard. They have since moved to Texas in the USA, but continue to actively appeal for information about their son.

"Damo", as he was known to his friends, had a great sense of humour. He had an unusual mannerism of blowing on his thumb, in the way that tennis players are often seen doing. He was also an accomplished musician, playing guitar and trombone, and was looking forward to a try-out with friends with hopes of being involved in the formation of a small band.

Damien also enjoyed computer games and sea fishing and occasionally used weights and body building equipment. Damien was developing into a deep thinker and had taken an interest in psychology, often discussing the subject with his older sister.

At the time he disappeared Damien was a tall, slim lad, about 6ft 3ins, and possibly still growing. He had had a short hair cut, but was known to favour longer hair. He had talked about growing a beard, probably favouring a goatee style. He had a small scar under his chin."

02-01-2015, 01:24 PM
Hope this cctv footage is ok to post.


02-02-2015, 08:32 AM
Which one is Damien in the video?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

02-02-2015, 02:13 PM
Which one is Damien in the video?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Damien is the tall fellow at the counter, who then turns to his left and appears to speak to someone. He is circled in this cctv video and article about him.


Little Jedi
02-02-2015, 02:39 PM

Missing Damien blog

Monday, December 15, 2014

I wish I had more time with you Damien. I wish that I had taken more photo's. My heart is very sad that your no longer here. We all miss you terribly. No matter how many years keep rolling by, we love and miss you as much today as we ever did, if not more. My heart cries for you every day.
I wish we had more time with

:tears: Damiens moms blog


Little Jedi
02-02-2015, 03:17 PM
:thinking: Hmmm ........

We do believe somebody does know and they are watching us carefully to see how much we have learned. We know.


When this bad thing happened to Damien, that you know about, you were young, probably not much older than Damien who was 16 years old, a baby still. You and others did something that haunts you to this day. It was really bad. Sometimes you cry out loud and pull your hair. You canít believe it, can you? But it happened, just like a bad dream, it haunts you........

...... You canít go back to that time before you did that thing and start the clock again.

It wonít work, because we are not going to let you rest.


Val Nettles

from above link ^^

What happened to Damien Nettles

Why does it take so long to solve a murder case? By: Sarah Nettles

Usually the truth is right under our noses, but we look straight past it

Damienís family has been advised that one individual, who is due to become a father himself, confessed to two separate people that he was there the night Damien was buried. But so far, after this information was provided to police, nothing has happened, and nothing communicated to us.

This person confessed that he helped bury Damien and was sobbing in the chalet the day Damien was being buried. It was overheard by a witness ..........

Sarah Nettles ~ Damiens sister


02-02-2015, 03:24 PM
Wonder if there have been any other young people who have gone missing from the area?
After all these years, couldn't someone have a heart and tell Damien's family where he can be located?
What if he was not murdered at all and was running or hiding from a perceived danger and died accidentally?
Have the waters in the area been searched?

Little Jedi
02-02-2015, 03:37 PM
Which one is Damien in the video?

https://chrisukorg.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/14.png?w=630 http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/63283000/jpg/_63283695_63283694.jpg

02-02-2015, 03:45 PM
:thinking: Hmmm ........

from above link ^^

What happened to Damien Nettles

Sarah Nettles ~ Damiens sister


Powerful statements!
If the person/s who are alleged to have murdered D, are otherwise fairly decent people, the memory, guilt and shame must be eating them up alive!
If they now have children, they will be forever haunted by the fear of something happening to their child, imo.
If what is suspected is true, then they have already made "a deal with the devil" maybe they can now make a deal, satisfactory for everyone. just let this family aching for their loved one, give him a decent burial.

Any chance at all, that he has been sold to a pedophile / trafficking ring, or paid off for their silence?

imo, speculation, ect.

Little Jedi
02-02-2015, 04:42 PM
I'm kinda getting the impression the family have a pretty good idea of what happened but no actual proof/evidence

A STORY ABOUT MURDER - with two theoretical endings

*Names have been changed to avoid accusing where we do not yet have evidence

Chapter 1 - What happened before the murder.......

Chapter 2 - Theory One of what happened next..........

........ He knows that the sail bag that he was buried in has probably preserved the kid somewhat and if he was ever found, the kid would be identified no problem.

But until that day, he walks free.

:dunno: I'm going with Theory One !


Little Jedi
02-03-2015, 02:24 AM
The Isle of Wight


03-08-2015, 08:25 AM
The Isle of Wight is only a short ferry ride away from me and I've taken a great interest in Damien's disappearance. I wish we could watch the whole CCTV footage of Damien in the fish n' chip shop. I've seen clips from a BBC article that show Damien waving as he leaves the shop (pictured a few posts above), but the footage circulating online is only 20 seconds long - why? There might be some detail, however tiny, that could give us a clue. Of course I'm sure the authorities and Nettles family have already reviewed the footage. I wouldn't mind seeing it myself, though.

Five men were arrested in 2011, without charge. There are five guys with Damien in the CCTV footage. Was it them?

I wonder if the police really "lost" the CCTV of Damien walking home?

03-08-2015, 03:27 PM
With all that water around, it is almost surprising that Damien is rumoured to be buried on land.
If true, could that suggest, the person/s responsible for Damien's disappearance, have some kind of sentimental attachment to him?

03-12-2015, 07:51 AM
I grew up just across the water from the Isle Of Wight, and I remember this case very well whilst growing up, mainly from seeing it reported on Crimewatch. It seems like the family have ideas on what happened, I wish they could get closure on this case. So sad.

10-02-2015, 12:54 PM
I wonder if it would be possible to get a journalist or documentary maker interested in this case. Seems like it could be solved with the right pressure and resources. If other young lads were involved they still have a chance to get this heavy weight of their hearts.

10-02-2015, 01:23 PM
The time is right for someone to send an anonymous note if necessary, to let the family know where their beloved son can be located, it is not too late to do the right thing! imo.