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The mother of a 16-year-old boy who disappeared more than 15 years ago said today she believed he had been killed by a drugs gang.
Damien Nettles, of Woodvale Road, Gurnard, Cowes, Isle of Wight, went missing on Saturday, November 2, 1996, after a night out with friends, and his body or whereabouts have never been traced.
His mother, Valerie Nettles, who now lives in Texas, in the United States, has offered a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the discovery of his remains and the conviction of his killers.
She said she believes her son crossed paths with a drugs gang leading to his death.
She said: "People said Damien probably fell in the sea but there has been more information that he fell foul of some people.
"I believe he was beaten to death. He wasn't into drugs but I wouldn't be surprised if he smoked a bit of cannabis with his friends. He was more into getting his hands on a bottle of cider.
"Whatever happened, Damien did not deserve this. He was just a silly boy who got in the way and someone decided to teach him a lesson."
Hampshire Police have continued to investigate Damien's disappearance and carried out searches on the island last year for his body which were unsuccessful.
Two men and a woman are to answer police bail next month having been arrested on suspicion of murder.