November this year marks the 23rd year since Isle of Wight teenager, Damien Nettles, mysteriously went missing after a night out in Cowes.
It’s not hard to imagine the heart-wrenching pain that is experienced when a child goes missing, but imagine spending the next 22+ years not knowing what has happened to your loved-one, not to mention being aware that that no-one has been held accountable for their disappearance.
The full, perplexing story
After many years of people encouraging Damien’s mother, Valerie Nettles, to write her story, she has.
Next month, ahead of the 23rd anniversary of Damien’s disappearance, The Boy Who Disappeared, will be on sale in paperback. You can pre-order now (see below).
The information was overwhelming
Speaking to OnTheWight, about why she decided to publish the book, Valerie explained,
“I have always felt I had a book in me even before Damien vanished. I think everyone does, but may not tap into or know where to start!
“Before Damien vanished I would write down events or things that affected me one way or another. After he disappeared I wrote partly to document things that were frustrating me or to just document the case as it stood at various times. The amount of information is overwhelming and it helped to put it down.”
Support from friends
Compiling a book from years of writing can be a daunting task, but Valerie said that she had great support from friends.
“Over time some of it became a blog. So with all that said I had a lot of writings accumulated. Over the years many people have encouraged me to write a book. I was overwhelmed with the thought of that process.
“My PI, Ivor, a published author himself, told me I had to put it into a book form and he would send it to his publisher. My good friend Caroline encouraged me to go for it and she scooped up my writings and as a tech savvy person she put it together into a book format with chapters etc! So it became a manuscript worthy of submission to a publisher.”
The Boy Who Disappeared
Available on pre-order from Amazone (here) the blurb for the book reads:
On 2 November 1996, sixteen-year-old Damien Nettles went out for the evening with friends in his home town of Cowes, Isle of Wight. CCTV recorded him in a chip shop at approximately 23:40 and then again on the High Street just after midnight.
He hasn’t been seen since. His mother Valerie has spent twenty-two years in anguish, trying to find out what happened to her son.
An 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 have added to the difficulty in ascertaining the truth.
Five men and a woman were arrested in 2011, and kept on bail over an eighteen-month period, but were released without charge.
In 2016 BBC3 broadcast a documentary profiling the case, which helped put Damien’s disappearance back in the spotlight but, despite years of research by journalists and a private investigator, Damien’s vanishing remains a mystery.
Now, for the first time in book form, Valerie Nettles tells the full, perplexing story of her son’s disappearance. Someone must know what happened to Damien. Will the truth ever emerge from the shadows?
Pre-order your copy of on Amazon today.