Jay Slater was 'afraid of someone or something' uncle fears as he is 'baffled' by Tenerife police

Jay Slater
-Credit: (Image: MEN Media)

The family of Jay Slater has intensified their search for the missing teenager, with his uncle describing the agonising wait for any news as "just torture".

Nineteen-year-old Jay, hailing from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, vanished on the morning of June 17 after he left an Airbnb located near Masca village in Tenerife's Rural de Teno Park. He had made his way to the accommodation with two other British individuals following a night out at a nightclub in Playa de las Americas.

Warren, Jay's father, along with his brother Zak, have been tirelessly searching the rugged terrain where Jay was last seen, hoping to uncover any sign of his location. Assisting them is a dedicated team of 10 volunteers who have braved the blistering 25C heat to comb through the Valley of Barranco de Juan Lopez, situated near the village of Masca, as reported by the Mirror.

Glen Duncan, 41, who is the brother of Jay's mother Debbie, has also joined the search efforts for his nephew, now missing for nearly three weeks. He shared: "We've just been out with some Spanish volunteers. They've been through it by foot and the dogs, there's obviously been areas searched by helicopter and drones. For me, he's not up here. That's what I get the impression of."

He expressed frustration over the lack of communication from local authorities: "Who knows what the police are doing out here, who knows? They're not really in touch, it's all a bit sketchy. They don't give anything away. I was close to Jay. He was just a typical, great young lad with a massive circle of friends who loved the good time. He was looking forward to coming here. First lads holiday, we've all been there, haven't we?" reports the Mirror.

The uncle clings to hope, drawing parallels with another high-profile case: "We're still holding onto hope - we have to because we don't know. He's not been found so you've got to cling on. I'm sure Madeleine McCann's parents still cling onto that hope, that she's somewhere on the other side of the world 20 years later. She's never been found and there's no proof of whatever has happened to her. It's so treacherous down there. Look at the state of me. I'm not a climber, I'm not a hiker."

Describing the search efforts, he said: "It's so easy to get lost down there. There was a group of us and you can't see anybody. It got to a point where I wasn't even looking for my nephew, I was just trying to find my own way out to safety. If he has wandered off I just can't see how he would wander all the way down there. When you're lost you stick to a path. I don't know if he was afraid of someone or something."

Discussing the vile rumours being spread by online trolls, he remarked: "I'm not on social media or anything so I can just block it out. It's the world we live in. If he's gone on a trail like a path like this and he's got lost there or fallen down I think he would have been found by now. I've been thinking third party involvement from the start. There's just some things that have already been out there. Why would two lads hire a villa up here? They're down on the strip, you know what it's like down there."

"There's millions of apartments and hotels down there in Los Cristianos and Las Americas. Straight away, that's just suspicious in itself. Then apparently one who has been found came out and said he arrived alive and left alive. That line in itself is suspicious. The fact he has come out and said all his mates have left him and he had nowhere to go, he was 10 minutes from his apartment in Los Cristianos. He's not stupid. If he didn't have a room key he could have gone to reception for a replacement."

"I don't know what the police are taking seriously. I don't know if they're following up every single lead. I feel like marching down there myself and bursting into the police station. What are they actually doing now, the police, I mean they're not searching with the helicopter are they? Are they doing door to door inquiries or sitting there looking at CCTV images? " He also voiced his concerns about why the two Airbnb men were dismissed by Spanish authorities so quickly.

"It baffled me from day one. How can you say they have no relevance when they are two of the last people to see him alive. It doesn't make sense. I can't get my head around it. It's like if one of you guys going missing now and letting the rest of you fly home and say we're not bothered about it. It's a massive let down. It's one of them too - you don't want to give them a hammering. I can't step on their toes."

"We need to keep good relations. That's why it's just so awkward I want to keep it out there. There's 10 of us out today. I don't know how long we're going to be out here for. How long's a piece of string? Debbie and Warren won't be going anywhere."

Glen said: "Jay was a typical 19 year old lad, so family oriented. He was great with my two daughters which a lot of 19 year olds aren't. A lot of 19 year old lads shy away from children."

"It's just torture every day. It's got to a point now where the sadness has gone and it's just anger."

He also said the family has had little recent contact with Jay's pal Lucy Law - the last person to speak to him. Exhausted family friend Rachel Hargreaves said: "We're just looking for him, we can't find him, we can't find him. I'm here supporting the family, trying to find Jay the best we can."

Apprentice bricklayer Jay was last spotted leaving an Airbnb property situated near the Masca village at roughly 8am on the day he vanished.

The teenager, who had been enjoying a getaway with his mates Lucy, 18, and Brad Hargreaves, 19, was last seen partying at the Papagayo nightclub in Playa de las Americas. He left the club with two British men to return to their rented accommodation.

A GoFundMe campaign launched to support Jay's family in their search efforts has now surpassed £50,000.

In response to rampant online speculation, Jay's friend Brad has robustly dismissed rumours, asserting "we ain't drug mules". The trio had travelled to the island for a three-day NRG music festival.

Brad took to Instagram to express his frustration: "Thinkin' I'm involved in it all is beyond me. We've been mates for years, came on our first holiday together and unfortunately this has happened. We ain't drug mules or whatever.... people need to know the facts before talking s*** on the internet.."

Lucy, who was the last person to have contact with Jay before he vanished on June 17, posted a photo of them together, accompanied by a crying emoji. The Airbnb where Jay was last seen is owned by Ayub Qassim, a convicted drug dealer.

Qassim commented on the situation, saying: "I let the geezer stay at mine because he had nowhere else to go. His friends had all left him. I know Jay, through friends, I'm not going to bring someone back to mine if I don't know them. I'm doing the geezer a favour and now my face is all over the news. It's a bit mental. I haven't even done anything."

Qassim stated: "The only comment I have to make is that Jay came to the house alive, and he left the house alive."

The search operation conducted by Spanish authorities concluded last weekend after a two-week period.