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Damien Nettles: Missing Person (1996)

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

On the 2nd of November 1996, Damien Nettles (16) disappeared after a night out in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Whilst the majority of CCTV had been lost, Damien was last spotted outside a chip shop eating food, near his home.

Damien had gone out with his friends, most of whom he knew through work or college. According to a witness, Damien had called by a flat several times that night drawing unwanted attention to the fact that drug dealing was taking place there. Damien's mother said in a podcast episode that she has come to the understanding that he may have been taking drugs. She did know about his cannabis use but didn't think he'd been taking anything else.

Over the years a number of theories surrounding Damien's disappearance have emerged. One is that a local drug dealer who died in 2002, Nicky McNamara, may have been responsible. In 2011, Hampshire Constabulary made eight arrests for conspiracy to murder, but all of the suspects were eventually released without charge.


Question/ Unlikely Theory

Damien had a girlfriend called Aby who lived in Suffolk. He also had an older sister studying in the UK. Thinking in the mindset of a tipsy teenage boy, could he have decided spontaneously that he wanted to visit one of the girls? It's apparent that if so Damien did not reach the location (and there would not have been any ferries going at that time of night/morning anyway), however, did police look into the possibility that he had headed that way and met with foul play? E.g. had Damien decided to wait for the next ferry? Had he met someone with a boat who had agreed to take him?


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