Jay Slater and six key questions about his baffling disappearance in Tenerife

Jay Slater is missing in Tenerife
-Credit: (Image: LancsLive)


The search for missing British teenager Jay Slater in Tenerife enters its second week, with rescue teams still searching the mountains in the north-west of the island. Jay, a 19 year old from Lancashire, was reported missing on June 17 while holidaying with friends.

He attended the NRG rave at the Playa de las Americas resort, before reportedly journeying over 30km to stay in the rural village of Masca with two men he had met. Since his phone reportedly died in the middle of a vast ravine, there has been no sign or word from him, with extensive efforts ongoing across the 'treacherous' Rural de Teno Park with significant police enquiries underway.

There are six key questions that continue to baffle friends, family and leading investigators about the case, Manchester Evening News reported.

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How did nobody see Jay on the morning he vanished?

The British teen is believed to have walked off alone, uphill into the mountains of the Rural de Teno Park on Monday, June 17, after staying at a remote Airbnb with two individuals he is thought to have met at the NRG music festival. You can get more story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

He stayed in the village of Masca - approximately 30km away from Los Cristianos, the resort where he had been residing with friends in the south of the island. The owner of the Airbnb told the M.E.N that Jay 'walked off alone' and uphill, in the wrong direction. She mentioned she informed him that a bus out of the village would be two hours.

Despite the remote location, Jay's heartbroken parents, Warren and Debbie, have questioned how nobody saw him on the Monday morning he vanished. Masca is a well-known tourist destination, famed for its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the North Atlantic Ocean.

The British teen is believed to have walked off alone, uphill into the mountains of the Rural de Teno Park -Credit:Stan Kujawa
The British teen is believed to have walked off alone, uphill into the mountains of the Rural de Teno Park -Credit:Stan Kujawa

It attracts numerous visitors, some who drive themselves or join the many guided tours that visit daily. The spot where Jay's phone last signalled, around 8:50 am on the day he disappeared, is adjacent to a popular mountain viewpoint. This area typically sees car parks filling up by 10 am each day, and there are several cafes and bars just a short stroll away.

Jay's father told the MEN: "There are people up there... you don't go along that road for more than 20 minutes without somebody stopping you or passing you."

Why did he stay in the rural village of Masca?

The holiday rental, around 10 minutes walk from the centre of the Masca village

One of the pressing questions in the ongoing investigation is why Jay decided to spend the night in Masca before he went missing. The small village has a population of merely about 90 people and is somewhat secluded. Accommodation options are scarce, with only three hotels located nearby.

Bar staff in the Playa de las Americas resort have told the Manchester Evening News on Monday (June 24) that tourists seldom stay there if they're partying in the south of the island, and it's mainly a hit with hikers. They've labelled the area as 'dangerous' for those who are inexperienced.

Search teams persist in their efforts to comb through the mountainous and "treacherous" terrain - but questions are being asked about why missing Jay chose to stay there. It's over 30km from the resort he was lodging at with his mates, in Los Cristianos. The journey can take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes, costs upwards of 100 euros in a taxi, and is only accessible by navigating challenging and steep roads that run alongside a towering cliff edge.

Why didn't he wait for the bus on the morning he disappeared?

Jay Slater is missing in Tenerife
Jay Slater is missing in Tenerife -Credit:Men Media

Police will also be investigating why Jay decided to trek alone through the mountains instead of waiting for the bus on the morning he disappeared. Jay reportedly chose not to wait two hours for a bus that would have taken him back into town.

The Airbnb host Ophelia Hernandez said she saw the teenager around 8am standing by a bus stop just outside the village of Masca. She mentioned that he had asked her about buses back to Los Cristianos and that she informed him it would arrive at 10am.

Instead of staying put however, he reportedly decided to walk further north of the island along the only road in the area, telling his friend that he would attempt the long trek back to their apartment. This journey would take approximately 11 hours and covers over 30km.

Who are the unknown men he stayed with - and why did he leave his friends?

One of the main questions surrounding the case is the identity of the two unknown men Jay was with - and why he decided to leave his friends and go with them to Masca on the night before he disappeared. Not much is known about these two men, believed to be British, who had booked the Airbnb accommodation in the secluded village, located in Rural de Teno Park.

The only information about the two men he spent Sunday evening with at Casa Abuela Tina comes from a woman named Araceli, who works at the business next to the rental property.

She said: "I never saw the missing boy, but I know people saw him walking on his own. I saw the two British men who stayed here. They came in for cafe con leche a couple of times. One was aged about 40. The other one was slightly younger. The police have spoken to them both. They arrived on Saturday and we’re due to stay until Monday, but they left on Tuesday.”

Is there a third party involved?

Jay's devastated family have repeatedly asked if someone else was involved in Jay's disappearance. They find it hard to believe that he simply vanished, alone, in the rural mountains of Masca.

Top TV detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who has since travelled to the Spanish island with the aim of 'getting answers for Jay's family', expressed his intention to determine if there was any involvement from a third party and reveal the identities of the unknown men within 'three days'.

Police have not confirmed any third-party involvement in Jay's disappearance as of yet. Nonetheless, his parents, Debbie and Warren, hold the belief that he might have been abducted or noticed by someone on the day he disappeared.

Search team overlook the village of Masca
Search team overlook the village of Masca, Tenerife, where the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, continues. -Credit:PA

"You think, has somebody got him? Because no matter if you were drunk or whatever, you don't go off that road up there," Warren previously said to the MEN. And devastated mum Debbie previously told the Daily Mail: "If he's got himself mixed up with any trouble, just let him go, just let him go." The Civil Guard has said they are keeping an open mind and following up every possible lead in the case as the major search continues.

Was the other CCTV sighting really missing Jay?

CCTV footage of a man walking through a church square in the village of Santiago del Teide at around 6pm on Monday - the evening of the day Jay went missing - has been shared by his family and friends.

They believe it could possibly be him, and claimed that the Civil Guard are investigating it. The village the footage was captured in, is around 7km away from the Airbnb Jay is thought to have stayed at the night before he vanished.

It shows a man, who Jay's dad said was similar to his son's height and build, walking past one of the many cameras in the area. Police in Tenerife have not yet confirmed whether the lead is being looked to as a credible possibility.