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FRESH APPEAL OVER MISSING DAMIEN

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 10:06

By Suzanne Pert
POLICE are making a new appeal for witnesses who may have seen missing Islander Damien Nettles in Baring Road, Cowes, eight years ago.
Damien, whose mother, Valerie, is in Britain until Saturday from her new home in the United States, was last spotted by a motorist and his wife in the middle of Baring Road, near Solent Middle School, at around 12.30am on the night of November 2, 1996.
This was only 300 or 400 yards from his home in Woodvale Road, Gurnard.
At the time of his disappearance it was thought the time of that last sighting was 1.30am but it was only later that the man realised he had not taken account of the clocks going back.
The man they saw had been carrying a blue-and-white striped plastic bag.
Police conducted house-to-house inquiries at the time but are now renewing their appeal for anyone else who may have seen this man to come forward.
DC John Murphy, of the major crime unit in Fratton, said the team was conducting several different lines of inquiry both on the Island and on the mainland.
Mrs Nettles attended a meeting with Det Supt Dave Williams and DC Murphy last week, accompanied by a friend and by Tim Blackman, whose daughter, Lucie Blackman, was murdered in Japan.
"He agreed to come as an extra pair of ears and was very supportive," said Mrs Nettles.
Mrs Nettles said the sighting in Baring Road placed Damien well away from Cowes High Street and the blue-and-white striped bag was significant in that Damien had been carrying one when he was last seen outside the Co-op.
But she was upset at the inference made last week by the police that Damien was probably under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he went missing.
"That was just surmising and it is not fair to my son. I know he and his friends had drunk cider but there is no evidence to substantiate that Damien had taken drugs," said Mrs Nettles.
Anyone with information or who may have seen Damien in Baring Road should contact the major crime unit on 0845 045 45 45.

 


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