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.

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