Police investigating the suspected murder of missing Isle of Wight teenager Damien Nettles have finished searching a property on Marsh Road in Gurnard near Cowes on the Isle of Wight today (Wednesday, November 2, 2011).
The address was sealed off on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 for examination by specialist officers, staff and equipment from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Department, Dog Support Unit, Scientific Services Department, and the Island Support Unit (ISU).
Police carried out a fingertip search of the property, surveyed the ground inside and outside the address, excavated the back garden, and deployed victim recovery dogs.
No evidence or human remains were found.
The search at a property in Marsh Road in Gurnard took place alongside the questioning of two people on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
The two people are:
A 35-year-old woman from Cowes, Isle of Wight
A 44-year-old man from Cowes, Isle of Wight
They were arrested on Tuesday morning (November 1, 2011), questioned by detectives at Newport Police Station, released from police custody this afternoon (Wednesday, November 2, 2011) and bailed until November 16, 2011 pending further enquiries.
Senior Investigating Officer, Superintendent David Powell, said: “We are disappointed that Damien has not been found yet, but this search was necessary to allow a thorough assessment of information about the Marsh Road property to be completed. As a result, police are confident that Damien’s body is not at the address.
“I’ve phoned Damien’s mother Valerie to speak with her about the outcome of the search at Marsh Road and the status of the two suspects arrested. We remain grateful to the Nettles family for continuing their campaign to maintain awareness and encourage new leads. We also welcome the ongoing support of the media, charities, professional partner agencies, local businesses and the community.
“Today’s 15th anniversary of Damien’s disappearance is an important date to highlight the rigorous and persistent enquiries that will continue into exactly what happened to the 16-year-old in 1996. Police have taken action in response to information received over the past 18 months by making arrests. Seven suspects remain on police bail, and further pieces of detail or evidence from members of the public could still prove to be important in solving this case.”
Hampshire Constabulary actions in this case so far include:
(as of the 15th anniversary this week)
Police have received at least 33 pieces of information since the 14th anniversary of Damien Nettles’ disappearance on November 2, 2010.
1,025 people have been involved in the investigation (either as investigators, witnesses, or people of interest) since Damien Nettles disappeared on November 2, 1996.
332 witness statements have been taken to date since November 2, 1996.
2,121 documents have been reviewed and processed.
Anyone with information about the Damien Nettles case can contact Hampshire Constabulary by phoning 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mini-Com users can call 01962 875000. The charity Missing People (formerly the National Missing Persons Helpline) can be contacted in confidence on Freefone 0500 700 700. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.