Jay Slater: Everything we do and don't know about missing Brit as search in Tenerife continues

Jay, an apprentice bricklayer, went to the Canary Island to attend a music festival
-Credit: (Image: Instagram)

The search for missing teenager Jay Slater, an apprentice bricklayer who vanished in Tenerife, continues into its second week. Last seen on Monday, June 17, walking "alone and fast" from his Airbnb, it is believed Jay, 19, was embarking on a challenging 10-hour hike across remote terrain towards the south of the island where his friends were staying.

His phone's last detected signal came from Rural de Teno Park, prompting intensified search efforts in this mountainous reserve. His trail after around 8:30am on June 17 remains a mystery, leaving his mother, Debbie Duncan, in despair.

Describing the ordeal as "an absolute living nightmare" she flew to Tenerife on Tuesday, June 18, accompanied by her eldest son and shared with ITV News: "He's the life and soul, he's a beautiful boy." Originally from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, Jay was noted by the Airbnb host departing the premises on Monday. Speculation suggests he might have missed the bus heading to the island's south, a popular spot for British tourists, according to the Mirror.

READ MORE: New image captures missing Jay Slater hours before vanishing

Emergency workers near the village of Masca search for the teenager
Emergency workers have been searching for Jay near the village of Masca -Credit:James Manning/PA Wire

Airbnb owner Ophelia expressed her concern, saying: "It's dangerous walking around here, it's easy to lose yourself. He walked up the road when I saw him for the last time. He was alone. He was walking normally, though he was fast."

On Saturday, Jay's mum revealed a possible sighting of her son on the day of his disappearance, though it's yet to be confirmed. Debbie shared: "Someone has come forward to say they saw someone who they thought was Jay walking back down the road sat on a bench."

"He was with two men looking a bit worse for wear, and they were by a church, this guy has come forward and told the police about it and they are looking into it. We don't know if it was Jay for sure, but it's a start. They said it was about 6pm which is ten hours after he was seen by the lady in the village. But if it was him what was he doing there and who are these two men?"

As the search for Jay enters its sixth day, Jay's family and friends have urged against speculation as unfounded theories circle online. Here's what we know so far about Jay Slater's disappearance:

What we know so far

British media reported Jay Slater missing on Tuesday, June 18, following confirmation from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the the investigation. The FCDO stated: "We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities". This statement continues to be issued to the media.

Jay's mother, Ms Duncan, arrived in Tenerife on Tuesday to lead the search efforts. She recounted receiving distressing calls from unidentified individuals with northern accents claiming they had kidnapped her son over an alleged debt. These claims have not been substantiated by the press or police.

The next day, one of Jay's close friends expressed fears that he may have been abducted, describing his disappearance as suspicious. Concerns grew when the search shifted from Rural de Teno Park to tourist hotspots like Los Cristianos, over 30 miles away.

Later that same day, police announced they were refocusing their search in the mountains after the southern sighting was deemed unreliable. Four major questions remain unanswered:

Where is Jay Slater?

Police on the island are pulling out all the stops in their search for the missing teenager, working closely with the British Embassy to track him down. The last confirmed sighting of Jay was in Rural del Teno, a rugged area in Tenerife's west.

He had been staying in the south with mates in an apartment and was reportedly trying to trek back on foota journey that would take around 11 hours.

Lucy, a friend, shared with Manchester Evening News: "He's gone on a night out, he's gone to a friend's house, someone that he has met on holiday. One of the people he has met has hired a car out of here, so he's driven them back to his apartment and Jay has gone there not realising how far away it is. He's ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Jay was obviously thinking he would be able to get home from there."

The situation is fraught with unknowns beyond Jay's location. While family and friends on the ground in Tenerife keep the "official" Facebook page updated with reliable news about the search efforts, the internet is rife with unfounded theories and rampant speculation. Ms Duncan voiced her exasperation over these distractions last Friday night.

Why didn't Jay wait for a bus or seek alternative ways to travel?

Jay was last seen after a friend drove him to another part of the island in a hire car, according to his mate Lucy. It is believed that the young lad missed his bus and ended up stranded in a remote, hilly region while trying to walk back.

The details on whether Jay had access to transport options to return to his holiday stay are not clear. It's unknown if he could hang about for a bus, hitch a ride, or grab a cab back to his resort.

Before he disappeared, Jay was active on Snapchat, chatting with pals and appearing to be in a good mental state. His mobile went dead at 8.50am, with his final location pinged near a hiking path above the tiny village of Masca.

What was Jay's state of mind?

Jay's mindset at the time of his disappearance is not definitively known. Nonetheless, his mum is convinced he was in a good place mentally, citing his friends' accounts.

Ms Duncan from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, suggested: "I just think it was a question of him not knowing the island well enough because it was his first time here and being a bit disorientated when it came to distances and not realising it was a 10-hour walk from where he went missing to his holiday accommodation."

She continued: "I know the last place he spoke to his friend Lucy from was in the mountains and I think the police have got a more precise location now. I imagine they're also speaking to the people whose place he went back to. Once I've spoken to the British consulate again, I'll be clearer about what I'm going to do but I imagine we will head up north nearer the spot Jay was when he disappeared."

Is Jay still in the country?

As for whether Jay has left the country, there is no confirmation from authorities on any speculation that Jay might have left Tenerife entirely - It's highly improbable though. The nature reserve, Rural del Teno, where he got lost is notoriously remote and rural, lacking the infrastructure which would allow Jay to quickly reach an airport.

The Airbnb where Jay stayed before his disappearance is "miles from civilisation," according to the Manchester Evening News. Additionally, Ms Duncan confirmed she still has Jay's passport. She wasn't expecting him to turn up for his scheduled return flight, although the exact date of this journey remains unclear.

A fundraising campaign started by a friend to "get Jay Slater home" has raised more than £24,000 so far. A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stated: "We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities."

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