Jay Slater latest: 6 key things we know about disappearance - and 4 big unanswered questions

The desperate search for Jay Slater continues
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Jay Slater, the 19 year old apprentice bricklayer who vanished in Tenerife, remains missing despite extensive search efforts.

He was last seen walking "alone and fast" on Monday morning as he left an Airbnb for what is a challenging 10-hour trek through rugged and isolated terrain towards his friends' location in the south of Tenerife. Follow our live blogs for updates on the search here.

The final known location of Jay's phone was at Rural de Teno Park, a hilly nature reserve where search teams have ramped up their efforts today. His movements after roughly 8.30am on Monday are still unknown, and his mother, Debbie Duncan, has described the ordeal of searching for her son as "an absolute living nightmare".

Read more: Jay Slater's mum reveals 'new sighting' being investigated by police

She and her eldest son flew to Tenerife on Tuesday. In an interview with ITV News, Ms Duncan expressed: "He's the life and soul, he's a beautiful boy."

Jay, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, was seen by the Airbnb owner leaving the property on Monday. It appears he may have missed his bus to the island's south, a region frequented by British holidaymakers, reports the Mirror.

Ophelia, who runs the Airbnb, said: "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."

In a new development today, Jay's mum disclosed that there has been a potential sighting of Jay on Monday - although it remains unconfirmed. 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 frantic search enters its sixth day, here is a timeline of Jay's disappearance and all 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

  • Jay Slater was declared missing in British media on Tuesday, after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) confirmed the investigation. In a statement, 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 told how twisted Brits with “northern accents” had been phoning her with hidden numbers and claiming they had her son captive and were keeping him because he owed them money. The press and police authorities have yet been unable to verify if Jay has been held captive.

  • Police later on Wednesday said they had resumed their search in the mountains after it was believed the sighting in the south was a false lead.

  • 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".

Police later on Wednesday announced that they had resumed their search in the mountains after the sighting in the south was deemed a false lead.

The 4 big unanswered questions

Where is Jay Slater?

Police on the island have stated they are doing everything possible to locate the missing teenager, and are also liaising with the British Embassy. Jay's last known location has been traced to Rural del Teno, a mountainous region in the west of the island.

The nearest town is Santiago del Teide. He had been residing on the southern part of the island in a flat with friends, with his friend Lucy stating he was attempting to complete the 11-hour hike back on foot.

Lucy shared with 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."

Aside from the pressing concern of Jay's location, several other details remain shrouded in uncertainty. The "official" Facebook page, set up by family and friends in Tenerife to provide verified updates about the search, contrasts starkly with the flurry of unverified theories and speculation circulating online, which Ms Duncan condemned last Friday evening.

Why didn't Jay wait for a bus or make other travel arrangements?

The question lingers as to why Jay didn't wait for a bus or seek alternative travel options.

Lucy explains that Jay had joined some acquaintances, one of whom offered him a lift to a different area of the island in a rented vehicle. Subsequently, the young man missed his return bus and found himself stranded in a remote, mountainous region while trying to walk back.

At this stage, it remains unclear whether Jay had access to any facilities that could assist him in returning to his accommodation, or if he had the option to wait for a bus, hitch a ride, or hail a taxi back to his resort.

Jay's last posts on Snapchat were normal and his phone died at around 8.50am, with the final known location being near a hiking trail above the small village of Masca.

What was Jay's state of mind?

Jay's mother could not confirm Jay's mental state at the time of his disappearance but suggested that he may have been disoriented due to unfamiliarity with the island. "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 communicated last known details of her son's whereabouts, stating: "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."

Was there any sign of Jay leaving the country?

Authorities have yet to confirm any intelligence that suggests whether Jay has left Tenerife entirely, although this seems highly unlikely. The nature reserve, Rural del Teno, where he was last seen is extremely remote and lacks the necessary infrastructure for a quick journey to an airport.

According to Manchester Evening News, the Airbnb rental where Jay stayed before his disappearance is "miles from civilisation".

Adding to this, Ms Duncan stated she has Jay's passport. She also mentioned she wasn't expecting him to reappear and catch his flight home, though it remains unclear when his return journey was or is scheduled.

A friend set up a fundraiser to "get Jay Slater home" which has since received over £24,000 in donations. A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office 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."