Two new suspects arrested over 1996 murder of teenager Damian Nettles

MURDERED Damien Nettles
MURDERED Damien Nettles
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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POLICE investigating the murder of a 16-year-old boy 15 years ago have arrested two new syspects.

Damien Nettles, of Woodvale Road, Gurnard, Cowes, Isle of Wight, went missing on Saturday November 2 1996.

He disappeared after a night out with friends.

Police yesterday arrested a 35-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man, both from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

Officers launched a search for the teenager’s body and other evidence at an address in Marsh Road, Gurnard on the island.

The address, which has links to the suspects arrested this will be searched this week as part of enquiries to move the investigation forward.

The grounds have been sealed off for examination using specialist officers and equipment.

A Hampshire police spokesman confirmed that the two suspects were in police custody and were being questioned.

He said they were linked to the property being searched by specialist officers in Marsh Road.

Detective Chief Inspector David Powell said: ‘Damien’s body has not been located or identified at the moment and we are cautious in our expectations for this search.

‘I can’t guarantee that anything will be found at an early stage.

‘This action is necessary because the information received about the address on Marsh Road in Gurnard cannot be fully assessed until the property is searched thoroughly.’

Five men were arrested in May on suspicion of murder and have since been bailed until February 1, 2012, pending further inquiries.

They are a 48-year-old man from Sandown, Isle of Wight, a 45-year-old from Cowes, a 50-year-old from Newport, Isle of Wight, a 37-year-old from Ryde and a 40-year-old from Gravesend, Kent.

A sixth person, a 38-year-old man from East Cowes, was arrested in July but later released with no further action.

Officers searched for Damien’s body at Dodnor Nature Reserve, near Newport, in May – but nothing was found.