Now, Hampshire Constabulary is highlighting the date to help remind the community that this case is not closed.
The last confirmed sighting of Damien on surviving available CCTV is Damien in Yorkie’s fish and chip shop off Cowes High Street at 23:35 on Saturday 2nd November 1996. Damien was also positively identified by his family from CCTV of Cowes High Street at 00:02 on Sunday 3rd November 1996. This footage showed Damien walking to a bus stop and then back along the High Street eating his chips.
At the time of his disappearance, the description of Damien was White, 6ft 3″ tall and of slim build with short brown hair, shaved at the back and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black fleece jacket, dark blue jeans and black boots.
Following the announcement of a £10,000 reward by a local anonymous businessman, information was passed to police as a result of responses during the summer and autumn. The content was analysed and assessed in line with police procedures, however, none of these responses provided new evidence or any new credible lines of enquiry.
Nevertheless, police always appreciate any member of the public who takes the time to make contact in good faith with a sincere intention to help.
Senior investigating officer Chief Superintendent Dave Powell said:
“As appeals are made on the 17th anniversary, the key point to remember is the reporting of any new facts – not fictions fuelled by the repetition of rumour.
“Although no new lines of enquiry exist to be followed at the moment, we are considering what other reasonable actions police could take in future. This follows a detailed review of all police files on Damien’s disappearance earlier this year.
“This case is not closed as far as Hampshire Constabulary is concerned. We have gathered a substantial amount of information over the past 17 years.
“Our files remain open to receive any new facts that members of the public may have about Damien’s disappearance or location.
“I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the Nettles family and everyone else who has supported the latest efforts to solve this case over the past year.”
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, with 357 witness statements having been taken to date.
Anyone with facts about the Damien Nettles case can contact Hampshire Constabulary by phoning 101 and asking for the Major Investigation Team at Fratton police station in Portsmouth or emailing [email protected] Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.