Jay Slater search boosted as unexpected source flies to Tenerife

Jay Slater’s dad Warren Slater (centre), Jays’s brother Zac Slater (left) and a volunteer called Shane Yerrell, right, searching for in Tenerife.
-Credit: (Image: Stan Kujawa)

The family of missing Jay Slater are being helped by a mayor who has flown to Tenerife to help with the search.

Shane Yerrell is the mayor of Waltham Abbey in Essex and has previously climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Olympus. He flew more than 2,000 miles to Tenerife and has spent spent two days searching the area where Jay, 19, was last seen.

Mr Yerrell joined Jay's devastated dad Warren, 58, older brother Zak, 24, and other family and friends at the weekend. He is now continuing to assist the family, while planning another trip to the island to rejoin the search.

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Mr Yerrell said: "They're just living on hope. It's awful, they've got no answers. They don't know whether Jay is alive or dead."

When asked if Jay's parents are still holding out hope he is alive, Mr Yerrell told the Mirror: "Of course. I would be exactly the same." The 40-year-old flew to the island after making contact with Jay's family and offering his help, which they accepted.

He has previously helped a number of families suffering difficulties and has raised nearly £200,000 to help people in need since 2011. He said: "I told the family, 'I've climbed a couple of mountains, I'm no mountain expert by any means, but I've done it and I'd like to come and help. We spent the whole day Saturday scaling the mountain and then the same thing again on Monday on a different route.

He continued: "They are doing everything to find him. They're not just out for an hour, they're out all day 9.30am until 6pm. We covered miles, but there's still a lot of ground to cover.

"I feel for all of them, his dad in particular. I'm a parent and my child is only a few years younger than Jay. The whole thing is heart-breaking not having any answers. They just don't know."

Describing the conditions Jay's family and friends are being forced to endure searching for him, Shane said: "It's really not easy. I struggled on the mountain and so did his family, but it didn't bother them because their priority is powering through to find Jay.

"The altitude and the heat makes it really difficult and the mountain is massive. You go over one edge and then there's another bit. It's unbelievable out there. It would take weeks or months to cover."

Mr Yerrell is now continuing to support the family remotely after landing back in the UK in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He spoke out as Spanish police issued a statement insisting they are still pursuing several lines of inquiry in their investigation into Jay's disappearance, three weeks after he went missing on June 17.

He added: "The police have been good, but I think it would be helpful for the family to have a police family liaison officer because they haven't got that at the moment and I think that would help them. I would also like to get mountain experts out there to help and I know that's something they're looking at."

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