Jay Slater 'new clue' claim as expert shares heartbreaking reason search teams may've missed teen

An expert searching for Jay Slater claims he stumbled across a new "clue" and believes he knows the harrowing reason search teams may have missed the teen.

The 19-year-old's family has been left to depend on the help of specialist volunteers after Spanish authorities ceased their search. Despite an extensive two-week search in the Parque Rural de Teno near the village of Masca in Tenerife, where Jay was last known to have stayed at an Airbnb, a spokesperson for the Civil Guard stated: "The search operation has now finished although the case remains open."

It's now three weeks since Jay disappeared on the morning of June 17, and his father Warren Slater, mother Debbie Duncan, and older brother Zak are receiving assistance from experienced professionals in the region.

Among them is Christopher Pennington, an ex-British military serviceman who relocated to Tenerife in 2006 after being captivated by the beauty of the Canary Island. Chris, who now works in property development and utilises the expertise he gained in the military, expressed his shock when the official search was halted.

He criticised the police for merely 'sticking to the paths' under the assumption that Jay had done the same. "This area has not been searched properly," he told Mail+. As Chris navigates the challenging landscape of the Parque Rural de Teno, where efforts have been concentrated since the young apprentice bricklayer went missing, he stumbled upon a new 'clue'.

Just days after the police ended their search, the British ex-reservist stumbled upon a pair of sunglasses with one lens missing, eerily similar to those the 19 year old was last seen wearing at the NRG festival before his disappearance. The glasses were found near the area where the teen's phone signal had last been detected.

Chris promptly turned the sunglasses over to the authorities, and they are now retained as part of the police investigation. TV sleuth Mark Williams-Thomas is also involved in the search for Jay, revealing that he has spoken to Ayub Qassim, 31, also known as 'Jonny Vegas', who was one of the last people to see the teenager. Qassim, who drove Jay to the remote holiday home, has reportedly shared details of their trip.

Dad Warren and brother Zak walking along the Juan Lopez Ravine close to Masca, where Jay's phone had last been located before he went missing
Jay's dad searching on Saturday -Credit:Stan Kujawa

The Mirror reports that, to better understand Jay's last known movements, Chris retraced the route from the popular coastal nightlife area to the Airbnb where the teen stayed, driving north from Papagayo nightclub to Casa Abuela Tina in Masca at 5.30am on Saturday. He told Mail+ that he kept his speed below 15km per hour due to the treacherous hairpin bends.

Describing the conditions, he said: "It's dark, it's extremely dangerous," and added, "Let me be frank, it's scary up here on your own in the darkness." Chris suspects that Jay, in a rush to leave the rental property, might have mistakenly headed down the ravine under the impression that the coast was nearer than it actually was.

He has identified what he believes are the 'most sensible' areas to search, pinpointing the exact geolocation of Jay's last phone signal. Venturing into the thickets near where he found the sunglasses, Chris described the difficulty of navigating the dense, thorny undergrowth.

With his hands nicked and scratched, he confessed that visibility was limited to barely two metres in front of him. Soaked with perspiration in the intense heat, he remarked: "You can only imagine that he's looked down at the coastline in the distance and thinks it's a lot closer than it really is. And that heading straight through the bush is the quickest route to safety."

Yet, after detouring off-road into the surrounding brush, Chris pondered why the teenager wouldn't opt to revert back to the safer path. "If Jay came off the path and went through there, like I've just done, he wouldn't leave the path again. You'd have to be mad."

Joining the search efforts alongside Warren and Zak is Juan Garcia, 53, who, along with his four year old sniffer dog Caperucita, has been scouring the area. Commenting on the daunting terrain, he grimly informed the Mail that it would be nearly impossible for aerial search teams to spot anything.

"It's a labyrinth of bushes and you can't see much from the air. We really are looking for a needle in a haystack," he said.

Before he vanished, Jay phoned his friend Lucy Law, who he was staying with in the south of the island, to say he was trying to return to their hotel but his phone battery was nearly dead. Lucy recounted that he mentioned being "thirsty" and lost.

Jay's dad searching on Saturday
Jay's dad searching on Saturday

Additionally, she revealed that Jay had been injured by a cactus. Meanwhile, Bradley Hargreaves, another friend, recalled hearing Jay fall during the call.

Speaking on This Morning, an emotional Brad, aged 19, remembered Jay's love for life and the last words he said, promising to call back after hanging up because "someone else ringing him".

Brad shared that initially, Jay wasn't overly concerned about finding his way back when he first got separated from his friends in Tenerife. On the show, Brad detailed: "He was on the phone and he goes: 'I've got to walk and go all down that road'".

Brad also suggested that Jay would have chosen a safer route than the one he mentioned on the call. He then described how he knew Jay had strayed off the path, saying he could hear the sound of Jay's feet sliding on gravel, indicating he had "went off the road.. That's how I knew he went off the road because, you know when you walk on gravel, or whatever it is, you can... you know what I mean, stones."

He further stated: "I said: 'put your location on. He said: '15 minute drive, fourteen-hour walk.' I don't know if it's accurate or not so I said to him: 'it's only a 15-min drive, get a taxi."