Today (Friday) marks 22 years since Isle of Wight teenager, Damien Nettles, waved goodbye to his Mum before heading out to a friend’s party in East Cowes, never to return home.
Since that night on 2nd November 1996, Valerie Nettles and her family have never stopped searching for answers about Damien’s 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.
Searching for the positives
Valerie knows that she’ll never see Damien walk back through the door, so in an attempt to create something positive out of the tragedy of losing her son, two years ago she launched the campaign for ‘Damien’s Law’ with the aim of improving existing police guidelines in relation to how they deal with missing persons cases.
No support from IW MPs
Step forward two years and at time of publishing the petition has attracted 5,574 signatures. Despite some great high profile support, Valerie tells OnTheWight that there’s been a total lack of support from the Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely or his predecessor, Andrew Turner, despite, emails and contact via social media.
Damien’s Law campaign comes to an end
With the campaign having taken a huge emotional toll on her, on the anniversary of Damien’s disappearance Valerie has made the difficult decision to bring the petition to an end.
“We have been pushing this now for a couple of years and still nowhere near the required signatures to be read in Parliament.
“It is disheartening when vast sums are handed to one case, yet we are plugging away for all cases to be better risk-assessed and equality of funding and going nowhere.”
Valerie went on to say,
“”I feel my son is still waiting for me to find him, so not giving up on him at all. But the vision of A Damien’s Law is over.”
Book due out in May
Valerie Nettles told OnTheWight,
“I am feeling a little desolate as I drop this part of the journey. I’d like to thank everyone who stepped up and signed the petition and supported it by sharing on social media.”
She went on to explain that she has a book due out in May, with the same title as the BBC mini-series, “The Boy Who Disappeared”.
Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared
In 2016 the BBC released the eight part mini-series titled, Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared.
BBC Journalists Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro ventured into the Isle of Wight’s dark underbelly, unearthing new evidence and sometimes conflicting accounts.
You can watch the entire series on YouTube.
Someone Knows (a song for Damien) was written and recorded by Damien’s good friend Alex Roberts.
All proceeds from the sale of the track go to the fantastic Missing People charity, who provide vital support to families of missing people.
Search iTunes to purchase your copy today.
Get in touch
It’s never too late to get in touch with Hampshire Constabulary if you have any information that could lead to the return of Damien’s remains. Call them on 101 quoting ‘Operation Ridgewood’.
Alternatively, phone or text Missing People charity on 116 000 quoting ‘96-001159’.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.