Saturday 2nd November marks the 23rd anniversary of the disappearance Isle of Wight teenager, Damien Nettles.
He waved goodbye to his Mum before heading out to a friend’s party in East Cowes, never to return home.
Family believe he was murdered
Since that night on 2nd November 1996, Valerie Nettles (Damien’s mum) and her family have never stopped searching for answers about his disappearance, or where his remains may be.
They believe he was murdered and that there are several people still living on the Isle of Wight who are aware of what happened.
Val told OnTheWight that she wanted to “thank everyone who has reached out in such a generous and loving way”.
She added a special message for Damien,
“With every passing year since we last saw you we have never forgotten you. Sweet boy. You have been in our hearts and minds always. Your time with us was short, 16 years, but we were so lucky to have had you with us that long.
“In that time you touched so many people’s hearts who have reached out to us over the years. You were liked, a lot! You were and are still loved and your missed by so many. Nobody can take that away from us.
Your going missing and the ensuing years have been so tough. But because of you we have become stronger than I believe we could ever imagined. Nobody can take that away.
“We are still a family and made stronger. We mourn you every day each in their own way, but your sorely missed. One day we will get the answer to where your are so we can bring you back home to our arms.
“You deserve that much and more. Justice for Damien will always be our goal.”
Read Val’s story
Earlier this year Valerie published The Boy Who Disappeared, her story of Damien’s disappearance and the following years, including the “initial botched police investigation”, the untimely death of a key suspect from a drug overdose and rumour and speculation about the Island’s drug culture.
Our thoughts are with Damien’s family and friends on this very difficult day.