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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2005, 07:18 GMT
Missing boy appeal nine years on
Image provided by National Missing Persons Helpline charity
Damien Nettles in 1996 (left) and how he may look today
Police have made a new appeal for information about a teenager who went missing nine years ago.

New leads have seen hundreds of inquiries carried out in the past 12 months into the disappearance of Damien Nettles from the Isle of Wight.

Officers said they had been given information about 20 people in connection with the case but it had "failed to further" the investigation.

Damien was 16 years old when he went missing on Saturday, 2 November, 1996.

The vast majority of this information cannot be accurate, given its inconsistent nature
Det Sup Dave Williams

After spending the evening in East Cowes, Damien returned to Cowes where he was seen in the High Street area.

He was seen on CCTV at 2345 GMT in Yorkie's fish and chip shop and possibly later walking along Baring Road, Gurnard, a few minutes from his home address.

Det Supt Dave Williams, of Hampshire Constabulary's major crime department, said: "The Operation Ridgewood inquiry team have conducted hundreds of investigations over the past 12 months in response to police being informed that more than 20 individuals may have been criminally involved in Damien's disappearance.

"Clearly the vast majority of this information cannot be accurate, given its inconsistent nature, and it is believed to have been either created or embellished upon a rumour mill.

"Recent detailed investigations involved the police interviews of all those either named or passing information.

"To date, this has failed to further this investigation in terms of establishing the cause for Damien's unexplained disappearance."

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