Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Damien Nettles disappearance: Reward information to be examined

Damien Nettles
Image caption Damien's mother believes he may have been killed over a cannabis debt

Police investigating the disappearance of a teenager 16 years ago are examining information received since offering a £20,000 reward last week.

Damien Nettles was last seen in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight on 2 November 1996, when he was aged 16.

Police said they were aware of island speculation, including possible identities of suspects, but said "gossip" was not helping the inquiry.

Eight people were arrested last year and released without charge.

The last remaining CCTV of Damien shows him at Yorkie's fish and chip shop in Cowes High Street at about 23:45 GMT.

'Fact from fiction'

His mother Valerie believes her son may have been killed over a cannabis debt.

Earlier this year, Damien's family began fundraising for their own £10,000 reward in a bid to solve the case.

Supt Dave Powell said: "We're grateful for the considerable interest and support in our ongoing efforts to solve this case as the 16th anniversary of Damien's disappearance approaches.

"I share the Nettles family's belief that the answers are held by people on the island.

"Police have received a number of pieces of information since the reward was announced.

"Each piece of information must be assessed methodically.

"It's vital to remember that the biggest challenge we still face is separating fact from fiction."

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