Jay Slater search: Tenerife police focus on outbuildings near last phone signal

<span>Members of a search and rescue team look near the last known location of Jay Slater, near the village of Masca in Tenerife.</span><span>Photograph: James Manning/PA</span>
Members of a search and rescue team look near the last known location of Jay Slater, near the village of Masca in Tenerife.Photograph: James Manning/PA

Outbuildings close to where the missing teenager Jay Slater’s phone last picked up signal are the current focus of a police search in Tenerife.

As the hunt for the 19-year-old continued for a seventh day on the Canary island, his mother thanked those who had together donated more than £30,000 to a GoFundMe page, exceeding its target.

Slater, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, disappeared on Monday morning after attending the NRG rave on the island. He told a friend that his phone battery was about to die and that he planned to walk back to his accommodation after missing a bus, a journey that would take about 11 hours on foot.

Phone signal data showed his last location as the rugged Rural de Teno park, an area popular with hikers. On Sunday, Spanish police were searching around two structures at the bottom of a ravine in the park. They were seen examining the inside of blue barrels outside one of the small buildings.

Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, travelled to the island on Tuesday and his father is now also there. Asked how the family were coping with the situation, Duncan told PA: “We’re not. I’m not coping very well at all. I’ve not slept, I’m exhausted. It’s been awful. I can’t give up on him, I just can’t.”

Conspiracy theories about Slater’s disappearance have multiplied online. In an interview with the Guardian over the weekend, Duncan said police were concerned about there being “too much noise” around the case.

“They have actually said that there’s too much noise, that’s affecting it,” she said. “They’ve got all the plans, their locations. They have got this map they were showing us, shaded different colours.”

Questions had been asked by donors about the “Get Jay Slater Home’” GoFundMe page, set up by the last friend to have spoken to Slater, Lucy Law. It is not yet clear what the money would be used for. But in an apparent response to comments, Duncan posted on the site thanking donors and confirming it was an official fundraiser.

“Hi everyone, this is Debbie, Jay’s mother,” she wrote. “Thank you all for your generosity and kindness during this difficult time. I wanted to confirm that this is the only GoFundMe fundraiser approved by our family.

“We have not yet withdrawn any funds and are currently covering the expenses, such as the trip to Tenerife and accommodation, ourselves. The funds will remain on hold with GoFundMe until we post a further update on this page.

“We are extremely worried and are doing everything we can to find Jay. Please continue to share our fundraiser far and wide. Your support means the world to us, and we are grateful for any help you can provide.”

Lancashire constabulary said it had made “an offer of support to the Guardia Civil to see if they need any additional resources” but this had been rejected by Spanish authorities. The NRG festival also issued a statement saying it was able to “give some practical support” to Slater’s family.

When asked whether Spain should have accepted help from the UK, Duncan told PA: “They say they’ve got enough resources to get on with the investigation … I don’t know, I don’t know.”