Jay Slater search: Friends say police in Tenerife ‘not doing enough’ as footage emerges of missing teen

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  • June 21, 2024
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The family of missing British teenager Jay Slater say police are not doing enough to find him – as loved ones held a “service of hope” in his hometown.

Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, travelled to the Spanish island with two friends to attend the NRG music festival, on his first holiday on his own.

On Sunday night the apprentice bricklayer is believed to have gone to stay with people he met at the festival who were staying in an apartment “miles away from civilisation and in a very secluded location”.

Footage has emerged online of him at a rave in the hours before he went missing. The clip- the last known video of Mr Slater – shows him making his way through the crowd at a packed event at a Tenerife nightclub, with sunglasses perched on his forehead.

He was last heard from on Monday morning when he frantically called his friend Lucy Law, who he had been at the festival with, saying he was lost with “no idea where he was” after trying to walk back to his accommodation having missed a bus.

He said he was in need of water, had just one per cent battery left on his phone, and had “cut his leg” on a cactus.

The walk from mountainous Rural de Teno park, his last known location, to the south of the Spanish island, would have taken around 11 hours on foot.

Police, mountain rescue teams and sniffer dogs have since been searching the mountainous area of northern Tenerife, which is home to Rural de Teno park, where Mr Slater was last seen.

As the search entered its fifth day on Friday, the teen’s friends told the Times they were growing frustrated with the way police were handling the search.

Lucy Law, one of the friends Mr Slater was holidaying with, told the Mirror on Wednesday: “We need British police here. I just want to find my mate. He’s been missing three days.

“It’s not looking good now. We feel as though it’s down to us to find him and that we’re doing more than the police.

“The police here don’t speak English and don’t even have a translator after three days. I feel like they’re fobbing me off. They’re still asking me the same questions as when I first reported Jay missing.”

Mr Slater is understood to have post a photo on Snapchat showing himself at a villa in north Tenerife, shortly before his phone ran out of battery on Monday morning.

When Jay Slater’s phone cut off, his last location showed as the Rural de Teno park – a mountainous area popular with hikers

Ms Law tracked down the villa and reportedly spoke to the two men he had been there with, the Times reported.

She said the men told her Mr Slater had gone for a cigarette before returning and said he wanted to go home. He reportedly turned down the men’s offers to drive him home later that morning, saying he would instead walk.

She told the Times: “They told me he’d spoken to the next-door neighbours and they’d told him there was a bus every 10 minutes back down to Los Cristianos.

“The bus stop was right next to the house. So obviously if he’d gone to get the bus he wouldn’t have got lost because it [the stop] was visible from the front door.”

She added there were “so many questions that are unanswered”.

She said the two men Mr Slater was with, who are understood to be British, have now left Tenerife, adding she would like them to be questioned by police in the UK.

Ms Law said Mr Slater called her around 8.30am on Monday and told her he was “lost in the mountains, he wasn’t aware of his surroundings, he desperately needed a drink and his phone was on one per cent”.

She told Sky News that he had “cut his leg on a cactus and had no idea where he was”.

Dozens of Mr Slater’s relatives and friends have flown to Tenerife to join the search, the Times reports.

A church in Mr Slater’s hometown has held a “service of hope” for the missing teen.

His friends, family and members of the local community gathered there wearing blue ribbons to show their support, praying for his safe return and leaving messages to him.

One long-time friend who was there told Sky News Mr Slater was well-known in Oswaldtwistle and described him as “the life and soul of the party”. “Everywhere you see him he’s just constantly got a smile on his face,” they added. “He’s always just a happy chap.

“He’s just constantly happy wherever you see him, no matter what. He’s just always got a smile on his face. Hopefully, someone somewhere knows something and hopefully he can get found.”

Mr Slater was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with shorts and trainers and a black bag.

His mother, Debbie Duncan, who flew to Tenerife on Tuesday morning, said searching for her son was “an absolute living nightmare”.

Ms Duncan told ITV News: “I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. I just want my baby back.

“Please just anybody who can help – look for him. It’s a massive area up there.

“He’s out there somewhere or somebody knows where he is.”

Ms Duncan added: “I wish I hadn’t encouraged him to go to this. I should have said: ‘Don’t go to Tenerife’.

“I just think he was probably still in high spirits, buzzing – he’s not known where he is.

“He’s not known the extent of the long journey that he went on to get up there.

“And he’s just thought: ‘I’m gonna walk’. And that’s what apparently he said to the last person he contacted.”

Describing her son, Ms Duncan said: “He’s the life and soul, he’s a beautiful boy.”

A fundraising appeal set up by Ms Law to help search for Mr Slater has raised over £18,000.

The Spanish Civil Guard told the Times it is “doing everything possible” to find him.

Lancashire police said its officers were supporting Mr Slater’s family, and were in touch with the British consulate in Tenerife.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities.”