Jay Slater: Five things we know in search for missing teen in Tenerife and three things police are trying to answer

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The search continues for 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer Jay Slater who has vanished in Tenerife, with no trace of him despite extensive operations. Jay, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, was last seen walking "alone and fast" on Monday as he left an Airbnb to embark on a 11-hour hike through the treacherous, remote terrain towards his friends in the island's southern region.

His phone's location stopped updating in Rural de Teno Park, a rugged nature reserve, which has become the focus of intensified searches this weekend. After 8.30am on Monday, further details about Jay's movements are unknown - although on Saturday his mother Debbie Duncan said police were investigating a report of a potential sighting of the teenager with two men on Monday evening. If confirmed this would be the last sighting of the 19-year-old before he disappeared.

Debbie has described her ordeal as "an absolute living nightmare". The mother flew to the Spanish island on Tuesday with her eldest son and said on Saturday that she had been in touch with Jay while he was on holiday, and that "he was just holidaying away".

Read more: One thing is striking about the Tenerife Airbnb where missing teen Jay Slater stayed

Read more: Friends say Jay Slater's Instagram account is being used by someone else

Earlier this week, the Airbnb host where Jay had stayed the night before his disappearance reported seeing him leaving the premises early Monday, and there is speculation he might have missed the bus to the south of the island, according to the Mirror.

Ophelia, who runs the Airbnb, expressed fears over the local area, 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."

The teenager, from Lancashire, was last heard from on Monday morning
Jay Slater, 19, had travelled to the island earlier this month with his friends Lucy and Brad to attend the NRG Tenerife Weekender music festival - his first holiday abroad without his parents. -Credit:MEN Media

In a new development on Saturday, Jay's mum revealed that there has been a potential sighting of Jay on Monday - although it remains unconfirmed. Debbie stated: "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 desperate search enters its sixth day, WalesOnline provides a comprehensive timeline of Jay's disappearance and emphasises the confirmed information - following pleas from friends on a Facebook group created to share updates on the search not to "speculate" with unfounded theories.

What we know about Jay Slater's disappearance

Emergency workers near the village of Masca search for the teenager
  • Jay Slater was declared missing in British media on Tuesday, after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) confirmed the investigation. It 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". The FCDO continues to issue this statement to the press.

  • Debbie Duncan, Jay's mother, flew to Tenerife on Tuesday to lead the search. However, she said sick trolls with “northern accents” had been phoning her with hidden numbers claiming they had her son captive and were keeping him because he owed them money. She said she would not let the prank calls stop her from talking about her son and the search.

  • On Wednesday, Jay's friend who was on holiday with him described his disappearance as "weird". Lucy Mae, who was holidaying with Jay on the Spanish island when he vanished, told Manchester Evening News that he told her that his phone was about to run out of battery, that he needed a drink of water and was unsure of his location after spending the night in an apartment with people he met during a night out. The pair had travelled out to the Spanish island with another friend for the for the three-day New Rave Generation (NRG) music festival which ended on Sunday.

  • Police later on Wednesday said they had resumed their search in the mountains after it was believed a sighting in the south was a false lead. A spokesperson for the Civil Guard said the search operation is being conducted by the Civil Guard with the help of a helicopter unit, the cynological unit which uses dogs, the Greim mountain rescue and intervention unit and citizen security patrols. Explaining that the focus of the search was centred around the location where he was last seen, the spokesperson added: "The focus area is the area where we were informed the missing man had disappeared which is the narrow valley within the Teno Massif called the Masca Gorge.

  • On Friday evening, it emerged Spanish police - the Guardia Civil - declined the help of Lancashire Constabulary in the investigation. Jay is from Lancashire and while his home force said their "thoughts are with Jay's family", it added the Guardia Civil "confirmed that at this time they are satisfied that they have the resources they need".

The three big unanswered questions police are trying to answer

Where is Jay Slater?

Jay, an apprentice bricklayer, went to the Canary Island to attend a music festival
Missing Jay Slater -Credit:Instagram

Officers in Tenerife are working tirelessly to find the British teenager who disappeared, collaborating closely with the British Embassy. Jay's last traceable position was at Rural del Teno in the mountainous region on the island's west side, near the Santiago del Teide town.

Before vanishing, he had been staying in an apartment on Tenerife's southern coast alongside friends. One friend, Lucy Mae, said he had been trekking back to their accommodation by foot, which would have been an 11-hour walk.

Lucy told the 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."

On Friday evening, Jay's mother denounced unfounded rumours surrounding the case, while family and friends in Tenerife have been posting verified updates on an "official" Facebook page designed to share communication about the search.

Why did Jay try to make the journey home on foot

According to Lucy, the missing teenager lad had met up with other friends, one of whom had given him a ride to a different part of the island in a rental vehicle. It is thought Jay missed his return bus and ended up stranded in a remote, mountainous region whilst trying to walk back.

It remains unknown whether he was near any facilities to get back to the south of the island, or if he had the option to wait for such services, get a lift, or hail a cab back to his lodgings.

Prior to his disappearance, Jay had been active on the social media platform Snapchat, chatting with friends, and appeared to be in a coherent and typical frame of mind. His mobile phone battery ran out at approximately 8.50am, with his final whereabouts recorded by the edge of a hiking trail positioned several hundred feet above the quaint village of Masca.

His friend Lucy Mae said: "It's secluded, but the spot where he last made phone contact with me is near a main road and he would have had the wherewithal to flag someone down, to wave someone down and ask for help. There's something weird going on. In two days, you're telling me someone's not seen him? There's a restaurant 10 minutes away that he would have seen or walked past." She described his last location as "like a viewpoint, it's a five to ten minute walk to the nearest café."

What was his state of mind

While Jay's state of mind before his disappearance can't be confirmed, Jay's mother believes his mindset was stable, according to what his friends have told her. She said: "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."

Jay's friend Lucy said: "He was in the mountains but it was just off a main road so this is what I don't understand. He's not stupid, in my mind he's not going to go off a main path and down a sheer drop or cliffs unless he's been forced down by someone who could have been following him."

Lucy described her last conversation with Jay. She said she left the festival as she was tired but that Jay had stayed on with two new friends he'd made and "a guy who we'd come with so there were four of them". She said: "I think those friends were British, although when I left the festival everyone was just mingling around. I took that last phone call from Jay around eight o'clock in the morning.

"I was asleep but I always sleep with my phone on ring in case there's something wrong. He just said to me, 'I need a drink, it's really hot, I don't know where I am and my phone's going to die.

"I said, 'If you're ever going to listen to anything I'm going to say to you, it needs to be now," she continued. "'If you're in the middle of nowhere with no water and no phone you're going to be f****d so you need to turn around and go back to wherever you came from and get help.' He's like, 'I can't go back, I don't know where I am'."

A fundraiser set up by a friend to "get Jay Slater home" has since received more than £24,000 in donations. A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesman 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."