Jay Slater left Airbnb 'because he was hungry' before vanishing, says detective Mark Williams-Thomas

Jay vanished in Tenerife on June 17
-Credit: (Image: Family Handout/LBT Global/PA)

TV detective Mark Williams-Thomas has claimed that Jay Slater, who disappeared after leaving an Airbnb in Masca, did so because he was hungry. The detective interviewed a man named Ayub Qassim, 31, also known as 'Johnny Vegas', who reportedly drove Mr Slater to the rental property after meeting him in Playa de las Americas.

Despite being driven to Masca by Mr Qassim and another unnamed individual, Spanish police do not consider either of them relevant to their investigation into the missing person case, according to the Express.

Mr Qassim said that Jay, a 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, arrived at the Airbnb and left after a party following a music festival he attended. Jay disappeared on June 17 after deciding to walk back to his accommodation in Los Cristianos, a journey that takes approximately 11 hours on foot, when he missed his bus.

The search for the teenager was called off by Tenerife's Guardia Civil after deploying helicopters, drones, and search dogs. Mr Williams-Thomas, who is conducting his own investigation separate from the official police response, told MailOnline that he had spoken with Mr Qassim. He alleges that Mr Qassim offered to drive Jay back on the morning after the party in Playa de las Americas, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Unveiling the supposed "real reason" Mr Slater declined a lift later that day, the ex-Met Police detective said: "Qassim said to him 'Chill, mate, I'll drop you off later, when I wake up', but he said Jay said, 'Nah, I need some scran, I'm hungry'."

Jay is then said to have informed Mr Qassim that a woman had advised him buses to Los Cristianos ran every 10 minutes, to which Mr Qassim reportedly told him there was no bus and told him, "Do what you like", before returning to sleep.

Guardia Civil officers prepare to search an area near where Jay went missing
Guardia Civil officers prepare to search an area near where Jay went missing -Credit:PA Images

Mr Williams-Thomas recounted that Mr Qassim recalled next receiving a call from one of Jay's friends stating he was found lying in a ditch, having been "bitten by a cactus".

The investigator noted that Mr Qassim withheld the name of the second individual who accompanied Jay to Masca and declined to discuss the purported theft of a Rolex watch, which some speculate might be connected to Mr Slater's vanishing.

It's reported that Jay's holiday accommodation was merely a 10-minute journey from the club hosting the music festival afterparty. In the meantime, it's understood that Jay's relatives are eager for Spanish authorities to utilise drones and additional apparatus over Rural de Teno park, where his mobile was last active.

A source disclosed to the Sun: "They are desperate for permission to be granted that will allow them to use the specialist equipment they've identified. They've been speaking to experts who have suggested items that could help - things like [radar] tracking gear, drones and kit which can help at night-time too."