Jay Slater: Two people who last saw missing teenager 'back in UK' as search on

Mark Williams-Thomas held a press conference on behalf of Jay's family
-Credit: (Image: Stan Kujawa)

A former Met Police detective on the hunt for the missing teenager Jay Slater has expressed a desire to interview two "key" individuals who are believed to be the last to have seen him.

Mark William Thomas, an ex-officer who also participated in the search for Nicola Bulley, remains hopeful alongside the family that Jay, who vanished in Tenerife 10 days ago, will be found. The private investigator shared with the press: "The family have provided me with an in-depth insight into what has happened in the hours leading up to his disappearance."

He continued, "I have, to date, not been able to speak to a large group of witnesses. But there are two key people to date that I have not spoken to. These are the two men that took Jay back to the holiday rental in the hills. Those two men have spoken to the police and they are now back in the UK."

For the past 10 days, a significant emergency service effort has been underway to locate the 19 year old from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, who has been out of contact since June 17.

The proprietor of the Airbnb where Jay was staying in the north west of Tenerife is reportedly the last person to have seen him. He was observed asking about the next bus departure time at around 8am, intending to return to the south of the island, reports the Mirror.

Subsequently, he messaged his holiday companion Lucy Law, informing her of his plan to undertake the approximately 10-hour walk back as his phone's battery was nearly depleted.

A large-scale search effort has been launched in the vicinity of Masca as rescue teams navigate the challenging landscape, marked by mountains and ravines, under difficult weather conditions.

Jay's relatives have joined the search on Tenerife, including his father Warren, 55, who has been distributing posters around Santiago de Teide, spurred by a potential sighting and a blurry CCTV image that might depict Jay.

Debbie Duncan, Jay's mother, has shared her distress over her son's disappearance, stating: "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."

In response to rampant speculation online about her son's fate, Debbie, 55, has voiced her frustration and issued a caution to those making assumptions, saying: "This may happen to you."

Addressing comments on a Facebook page discussing Jay's case, she wrote: "I really am saddened by all your comments. You seem to be so bothered about this GoFundMe page."

"I really hope I am not taking my son home in a body bag. The funds are not released and won't be if not needed. I really cannot believe the British public are not supporting me in trying to find Jay. This may happen to any of you one day. Very let down by you all."

In excess of £35,000 has been contributed to the GoFundMe page established by Jay's friend Lucy, which aims to aid his family as their search for him goes on. Debbie verified that the family had given their blessing to the fundraiser on the GoFundMe page in a separate post.

She clarified: "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."