POLICE today put up a £20,000 reward for information leading to the location of a missing teenager who disappeared nearly 16 years ago.
Damien Nettles has not been seen since November 2 1996 when the 16-year-old did not return home from a night out in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
The reward is the latest line of enquiry for detectives from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team.
The cash is set aside with terms and conditions for its payment in line with national police guidelines.
Superintendent Dave Powell, senior investigating officer, said the biggest challenge detectives face is separating ‘fact from fiction’ relating to Damien’s disappearance: ‘For the past three years, it has been important for the Major Investigation Team to concentrate on analysing and acting upon the information already passed to police by the local community,’ he said.
‘This led us to arrest eight people who were questioned over the course of a year, and later released with no further action. Officers needed to focus on completing existing enquiries while multiple suspects were on bail.
‘We did not charge anyone with a criminal offence, but those decisions were not the end of our investigation. Murder or foul play cannot be ruled out.’
Call Fratton Major Investigation Team on 101.