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Damien Nettles

Missing Since: 02/11/1996

Damien Nettles disappeared from the Isle of Wight, UK on November 2, 1996 when he was 16. The investigation into his disappearance has been ongoing ever since, with five men arrested in 2011, although no charges have been brought.

About Damien Nettles

“As a baby Damien was just scrumptious and loving.  An endearing child.  A character!  He loved his big sister Sarah and he followed her everywhere.  He would ask me for juice and I would say “just a minute”.  He held up his orange cup and started saying instead “juice a minute mama”.  He warmed our hearts. He was always a joker.  He wanted to make people laugh.  There wasn’t a malicious bone in his body.

He was a dedicated musician.  He loved to play the guitar and taught himself to play.  He joined a band and they jammed and he loved it.  He  wrote lyrics and spent time listening to all kinds of music from the classical to the Beatles to current music.  He was sensitive, caring and loving and thoughtful.  He would help the underdog.  Sometimes to his own disadvantage. 

He liked to help people and since he went missing many school friends remember kind deeds he did.  He helped Sarah study for her A-Level final and she went on to the university in Portsmouth.  He became serious with his desire to do well on his exams and go to university.  He talked about doing marine biology.  We saw a commitment in him to go forward in life and have a career and future.  We saw him develop into a promising unique individual. 

Damien disappeared from our lives on the 2nd November 1996 when he was just 16. A moment in time altered the fate of our loved one. We face a life forever changed. We may never know what led up to that moment.

That’s where the anguish lives.

We will never let  go of the light of the hope that someday we will get answers to sooth our tortured souls. We try to follow the light with positivity and hope that one day truth will shine on us.”

Val Nettles.


 There have been a number of reviews of investigations related to Damien’s disappearance. Hampshire Police have stated that they “continue to take action to keep the case open for any new leads. A decision was made in 2013 for the files on Damien Nettles to remain with the force’s Major Crime Team for ongoing regular checks. This move followed an extensive review of all information gathered by police during enquiries into Damien’s disappearance in November 1996.”

In 2016 BBC reporters Bronagh Munroe and Alys Harte investigated the disappearance and their findings on BBC Three Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared.

Val Nettles has recently published her own moving and compelling account, that tells the full, perplexing story of her son’s disappearance The Boy Who Disappeared.’


Damien Nettles’ case is featured on our podcast, ‘The Missing’. You can listen to the episode below.