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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
New image of missing teenager
Image provided by National Missing Persons Helpline charity
Picture of Damien Nettles in 1996 and how he may look today
A new age-enhanced image of an Isle of Wight teenager who disappeared over six years ago has been released.

Damien Nettles, 16, was last seen in a chip shop in Cowes on 2 November 1996.

He would now be 23 and the National Missing Persons Helpline (NMPH) has used computer technology to update his image.

Damien's mother, Val Nettles, hopes the image will encourage new witnesses to come forward and "end the nightmare" of the last six years.

The agony of not knowing is torture, and images of the most despicable kind drift into our thoughts and plague our sleep.
Val Nettles

Mrs Nettles said: "It is our hope that someone, somewhere, may recognise this likeness or that it may prompt someone who has knowledge about the circumstances surrounding Damien's disappearance to come forward.

"All it takes is one piece of credible information, which could end this nightmare we live in. We are begging anyone who may be able to help to come forward, anonymously if necessary, just give us something to go on.

"The agony of not knowing is torture, and images of the most despicable kind drift into our thoughts and plague our sleep.

"We need Damien back, or at least to know and face the reality of what has happened so we can move on from this place," she said.

'Ongoing investigation'

Auriole Prince, head of Identification and Reconstruction at NMPH, who produced the age-enhanced image said: "I have looked at pictures of his mum, dad and brother to judge how he may have aged and have created an 'enhanced' image in order to try and generate new information on the case.

"Ultimately, Damien won't look like a different person, just older and more masculine."

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Williams, from Hampshire Police, said, "The Major Crime Department continue to actively investigate Damien's disappearance, and have recently conducted enquiries across the country as well as ongoing investigations on the Isle of Wight.

"In the absence of evidence confirming the reason for Damien's disappearance we keep an open mind," he said.

If anyone has any information about Damien Nettles they can call the National Missing Persons Helpline number - 0500 700 700 - or Hampshire Police on 0845 045 45 45.



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