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Two more arrested in Damien Nettles investigation

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 17:40

UPDATED 17:10*
TWO more people have been arrested today (Tuesday) in connection with the suspected murder of Damien Nettles.
The arrests came as the family launched a fresh appeal for information about the disappearance of the teenager 15 years ago.
A 35-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man, from Cowes, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and are being questioned in police custody.
A search for the body of the missing teenager is under way at a property in Marsh Road, Gurnard, which is linked to the suspects.
*A police spokesman said at 5pm they had finished for today but would be back at 8am tomorrow (Wednesday).
Officers had conducted a fingertip search inside the chalet, floorboards had been taken up and the search made of the ground inside.
They had also started digging up the back garden and this would continue tomorrow.
The couple who had been arrested were still in custody.
Police in Marsh Road
Police vehicles in Marsh Road. Picture by Peter Boam.
Five other people —  a 48 year old from Sandown, a 44 year old from Cowes, a 50 year old from Newport, a 37 year old from Ryde and a 39 year old from Gravesend, Kent — were arrested on suspicion of murdering the teenager earlier this year and have been bailed to answer further questions on February 1, 2012.
Police revealed today that a 38 year old from East Cowes was arrested on July 20 but was released without further action by police in October.
Senior investigating officer Supt Dave Powell said they were keeping an open mind about what may have happened to Damien but murder was a prominent line of enquiry.
He said: "Damien’s body has not been located or identified at the moment and we are cautious in our expectations for this search.
"I can’t guarantee anything that will be found at an early stage. The action is necessary because the information received about the address on Marsh Road in Gurnard cannot be fully assessed until the property is searched thoroughly.
"We are always mindful there have been many false and malicious allegations about the whereabouts of Damien over the past 15 years.
"Such unfounded speculation upsets the Nettles family and can disrupt other, more promising lines of enquiry.
"Therefore any decisions to examine possible burial sites are not taken lightly because of the amount of police time and officers required.
"Although this search is taking place around the 15th anniversary of Damien’s disappearance, months of planning have gone into this phase of the operation, since June 2011, with certain key resources becoming available at the start of this month."
This latest search follows one in May this year, at marshland off the Cowes to Newport cycle track at Stag Lane, which failed to find any items linked to the disappearance of Damien, who was last seen in High Street, Cowes, in  November 1996.
Police in Marsh Road
Police in Marsh Road. Picture by Indus_Ceramics.
Supt Powell said: "The determination and persistence of the Nettles family is crucial to reinforce awareness of this case and encourage new leads.
"Our focus is fixed on finding Damien and I would ask the community remembers, and reflects on, his disappearance again this week.
"Even after 15 years, the smallest piece of detail from a member of the public could prove to be an essential element in establishing a significant line of enquiry.
"We also appreciate the assistance of charities, partner agencies, businesses, the media and the local community to keep the efforts to discover Damien’s whereabouts in the public eye."

Reporter: [email protected]

 


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