Jay Slater's dad says teen's disappearance is 'like a riddle'

Jay Slater's father Warren (left) and brother Zak
-Credit: (Image: Stan Kujawa)

The heartbroken father of missing teenager Jay Slater has described the search for his son as "like a riddle" to which he has no answers. Warren Slater was part of a 10-strong volunteer team that on Saturday combed through the mountainous area in Tenerife where his 19-year-old son vanished.

In sweltering 25C heat they meticulously searched the Valley of Barranco de Juan Lopez, near the village of Masca. Reflecting on the challenging search through the rough landscape Warren said: "It's the fourth time I've done this. It was hard – I nearly put my eye out."

He expressed the family's exasperation with the progress of the investigation, adding: "Tell me where I look – I can only go off the last sighting. The woman in that restaurant saw him going the wrong way. Which human being lets a young boy go the wrong way? Everything stinks. It's just a riddle and I don't know the answer," reports the Mirror.

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Jay, an apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, disappeared on the Spanish island on June 17. His last known whereabouts were when he left an Airbnb in the north of the island, not far from Masca, that morning. The young man had been enjoying a holiday with friends Lucy, 18, and Brad Hargreaves, 19, and had spent time at the Papagayo nightclub in Playa de las Americas. He departed the club with two British men heading towards their rented accommodation.

Warren is puzzled by the speed at which the police dismissed the two men from the inquiry. He said: "If you and me in England had taken a young girl to the Lake District do you think they would have let us go back to Spain? We're going round and round in circles. The Spanish police you can't go screaming and shouting at them because they don't do anything.

"If you start screaming and shouting they won't do anything even more. If they want to go and search a house they have to go to court first."

He also expressed his disappointment with the official search organised by local police last weekend. He said: "I was quite disappointed last Saturday when they did the search. They said the whole island was going to turn out. 'Let all the big boys do it' – the police told me the big, big search was Saturday. We got down in that valley at 2pm and there wasn't a soul. The way they made it out when they said they were going to have the biggest ever search."

Warren mentioned that he had timed the walk from the Airbnb to the valley they were searching and it had taken 90 minutes. The road is a popular tourist route with hundreds of visitors arriving each day to capture the breathtaking scenery.

He added: "You've walked from that [property] at 9am, you've walked all the way up here – he's a young fit lad, all the way. You're trying to tell me no car, no-one's seen him, at half past 10. Why would you go down there? You've got to [the] end – why go any further? Why would you leave this road? You haven't got a clue where you are.

"And no-one else has seen him. One woman, he's knocked on her door, she said at 10, and he went the wrong way. This morning I saw her she didn't want to stop. It's somebody's son you know? If you're the last person to see someone's son you try your damndest to help don't you?

"If your son was here what would you do? If he was at the top of that rock you'd climb it."

The man who rented the Airbnb property where Jay is believed to have stayed previously said: "I let the geezer stay at mine because he had nowhere else to go. His friends had all left him. I know Jay through friends – I'm not going to bring someone back to mine if I don't know them. I'm doing the geezer a favour and now my face is all over the news. It's a bit mental. I haven't even done anything." He added: "The only comment I have to make is that Jay came to the house alive and he left the house alive." A search by the Spanish authorities ended last weekend after 14 days.