Jay Slater's heartbroken mum issues statement about 'our beautiful boy'

Jay Slater disappeared on June 17
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

The heartbroken mum of Jay Slater has spoken of the family's "pain and agony" following the disappearance of their "beautiful boy".

Jay, 19, was last heard from in the northwest of Tenerife on June 17 after staying at an Airbnb in Masca. He told Lucy Law, his friend, that he was planning to walk back to the south of the island. However, his phone battery then went dead.

As reported by the Mirror, this led to a major search operation by Spanish police - but with no signs of the teenager, from Lancashire, it was finally called off last Sunday. His mum Debbie Duncan has now given her first public comment since the search ended.

Speaking via the British overseas missing persons charity LBT Global, she said: “My son, Jay Dean Slater, came to the holiday island of Tenerife on the 13th of June with his friend to attend a music festival. On the 17th of June after not returning to his apartment he was reported as a missing person. Jay is a normal guy who is in his 3rd year of an apprenticeship, and he is a very popular young man with a large circle of friends.

"We are a very close family and are absolutely devastated about his disappearance. Words cannot describe the pain and agony we are experiencing. He is our beautiful boy with his whole life ahead of him and we just want to find him."

Debbie Duncan shared her heartbreak
Debbie Duncan shared her heartbreak -Credit:ITV News

Debbie praised the efforts of the police in Spain and said that their investigation is still ongoing into what has happened. "We do not have any information on his whereabouts. The Guardia Civil have worked tirelessly up in the mountains where Jay's last phone call was traced," she continued.

"They conducted a land search for 12 days which involved every resource they had available. Although the land search ended, the Spanish police still continue with their investigations into why Jay had travelled to the location so far away from his accommodation.

"We offer our sincere thanks to the Spanish authorities who continue to follow lines of enquiries. We would like to say to the press/news/reporters, that although we do not want to lose the momentum of Jay's disappearance, we really would like to maintain our privacy and crucially let the Spanish police get on with their investigations without hindrance from press.

"We are aware of the conspiracy theories and speculation on social media and some websites, and can only describe this as vile, the negative comments are extremely distressing to our family. We also embrace the love and support we have received from across the globe. It has not gone unnoticed, especially his home town in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire. As a family we would like the world to respect our privacy at this present time.”

Debbie travelled to the island as the search took place along with other family members. A GoFundMe page set up by Jay’s friend Lucy Law for his family has so far raised more than 47,000. and Debbie said the money raised online would be used to support mountain rescue teams, as well as covering accommodation and food costs.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.