The final confirmed sighting of 16-year-old Damien on surviving available CCTV was in the former Yorkie’s fish and chip shop on Cowes High Street at 23:35 on 2nd November 1996. Damien has not been seen since that night some 20 years ago.
Damien was also positively identified by his family from CCTV on 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 chips, but unfortunately Police lost the only copy of the CCTV.
On 12th May 2011 divers searched underneath a bridge on the Newport to Cowes cycle path and later that year on 1st November 2011 further specialist teams searched a property in Gurnard. Both searches failed to locate any remains.
On the night of his disappearance, Damien was described as:
- 6ft 3″ tall
- Slim build
- Short brown hair, shaved at the back
- Brown eyes
He was last seen wearing:
- A black fleece jacket
- Dark blue jeans
- Black boots
Hampshire Constabulary say they are aware of a petition calling for extra funding towards a police investigation. At this time, no new facts and no new lines of enquiry have been identified; this includes an assessment of information received following a BBC Three documentary published in July this year about the case.
Police say any further investigations or searches for human remains would require a substantial investment of police time, expertise and resources. Offficers would need verifiable information to justify such a search. A key point to repeat and remember is the reporting of any new facts, not fictions fuelled by the repetition of rumour.
Regular checks of information reported to Police will continue to be made by the Major Crime team. A detective keeps in contact with the Nettles family about any updates, and opportunities to raise awareness of the case such as public events and anniversaries related to Damien.
Anyone with new facts and information can contact Hampshire Constabulary by phoning 101 or emailing [email protected]. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.