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3 October 2013, 07:12
The mother of missing Isle of Wight teenager Damien Nettles says she's 'cautiously optimistic' about new information in the search for her son.
Damien disappeared after a night out in Cowes in November 1996, aged 16. Police think he was murdered.
Val Nettles says several emails have been received by an anonymous local businessman, who's offering a £10,000 reward, but they're yet to get a response from Hampshire Police after attempting to contact officers.
The deadline for the reward has now been extended to Thursday 10 October 2013.
In a statement, Damien's mother Val said:
"We are cautiously optimistic about emails received by the Isle of Wight businessman who is offering a reward for information that leads to Damien's recovery.
"I am aware that the authors of the emails had indicated a willingness to allow the forwarding of this information to the police since anonymity has been assured in this reward endeavour.
"The businessman told me today he had attempted to contact police a few times without success and as of this moment (3:05am UK time, Thursday 3 October) the businessman has had no response from any police officers. Therefore I am unable to say what if anything they will do about following these items up."
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said:
"We remain in contact with the businessman offering this £10,000 reward. Any information received will be checked in line with police standards for evidence. This process will decide whether any new lines of enquiry and police action can be justified.
"We always appreciate every single sincere thought and effort to help the police in any case.
"Any search for human remains requires a substantial investment of police time, expertise and resources. Officers would need verifiable information to justify such a search."
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